The dangerous and exotic canal boat service around Bangkok is very much overlooked. The San Saeb commuter boat line alone averages more than 60,000 people/day – more than some MRT lines in operation. Passengers enter the boat sideways.
"I got the idea from the London Tube," says Chawalit Methayaprapat, who started the company, "Why not design the boat so that you could enter from the sides?"
With the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, the City tries to expand the Metro network in Bangkok by connecting the canal transit to existing Metro rail stations; with the strategic insertion of boat piers near the existing Metro rail stations -- similar to creating new brain synapses -- the Metro rail and the canal transit can be connected into a larger network.
Although the city government is currently implementing this proposal, there are many hurdles to overcome such as integrating canal-side informal housing into the transit TOD plan.
Explore new opportunities in building “Net Zero Cost” boat pier infrastructure with solar roof and building “core” provided through Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with energy companies. In a hot tropical environment, having a roof structure with the kitchen and bathroom “core” could be as important as having walls.
The idea can also be applied to improving transit connectivity in the Bay Area. For example, BART (Oakland Airport) can potentially be connected to Caltrain (Broadway Station) by ferry.
Photography by Nattapong Saengthongluan
- Describe how connecting the canals to Metro rail transit can exponentially expand traffic-free network in Bangkok.
- Learn about the application of “Small World Network” theory and the importance of weak ties.
- Understand Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) and how to create “Net Zero Cost” transit centers with PPA energy providers.
- Explore the potential of creating similar Boat-to-Rail Connectivity in the Bay Area.
About the Moderator
Yanyong Boon-Long, AIA
Yanyong joined dsk architects after 8 years of extensive experience in Shanghai and Bangkok. He is a grant recipient of The Rockefeller Foundation (2014-2017) for initiating urban policy that allows residents to bypass traffic jams in Bangkok. This was done by connecting city canals to existing Metro rail stations. The network of Metro transit can be expanded exponentially due to the intricate mesh of intersecting canal network. The plan cost a fraction of building new Metro lines. Yanyong is a registered architect in New York and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
About the Presenters
Rob Best has a Ph.D in Sustainable Design and Construction from the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Stanford University and currently works at Arup. His research focused on network planning, integration, and optimization of urban infrastructure systems. He has a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford. He was the Design and Construction Manager for the Stanford Solar Decathlon. Rob was also the Projects and Education Director for Engineers for a Sustainable World, a U.S. based non-profit that advances project-based learning and knowledge-sharing on sustainability and engineering nationwide. He also has experience as a consultant modeling the energy consumption of buildings and urban developments and evaluating the long-term impacts of pollution and hazardous industries.
Sunantana and her team "Bangkok Canal SOS" was selected as one of three finalists of Global Student Competition URBAN SOS supported by AECOM. The project demonstrates the proposal of developing Bangkok’s Canal system to mitigate major city problems such as flood, environmental degradation, and poor transportation system. She had practiced landscape professional in international firms in Singapore and Thailand. Currently, she works at PLAT STUDIO in Berkeley. Sunantana earned Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University with the recognition of Dean’s Medalist and Class of 2016 Design Excellence Award. She is passionate in research and innovation focusing on green infrastructure, water and environmental management.
Derek, age 25, graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with dual Bachelor’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architectural Design, and in 2015 with a Master’s in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics. He was project manager of Stanford’s first-ever entry to the U.S. DOE’s 2013 Solar Decathlon and has been featured as an up-and-coming designer in the Los Angeles Times, in Home Energy magazine’s "30 under 30", at TEDxStanford, and at Stanford+Connects NY and Seattle. He is Founder of Cloud Arch Studio, Co-Founder of City Systems, and lecturer in Stanford’s Sustainable Urban Systems Initiative.
Michael Vidra, PE, LEED AP, QSD/QSP
Michael has been working in the private sectors of land development and transportation planning for over 10 years within the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, while working for his current employer, Parisi Transportation Consulting, Michael been involved in projects requiring planning, environmental clearance and design documents for projects with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The projects with SFCTA involved studies for the Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project for which 50,000 transit riders.
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