From London to Tokyo, climate change is causing cities to sink — and our modern concrete infrastructure is making us even more vulnerable to severe flooding, says landscape architect and TED Fellow Kotchakorn Voraakhom. But what if we could design cities to help fight floods? In this inspiring talk, Voraakhom shows how she developed a massive park in Bangkok that can hold a million gallons of rainwater, calling for more climate change solutions that connect cities back to nature.
Why you should listen?
Kotchakorn Voraakhom never thought her childhood pastimes — like boat paddling with friends in the floodwaters in front of her house — would later signal a catastrophic disaster: a sinking city. To help save her hometown of Bangkok from rising sea levels and climate change, Voraakhom founded the landscape architecture design firm Landprocess. She is also the founder of Porous City Network, a social enterprise working to solve urban environmental problems and increase urban resilience across Southeast Asia by aiding, engaging and educating climate-vulnerable communities about productive landscape design.
In Bangkok, Voraakhom and her team has turned an invaluable commercial property in the heart of the city into Chulalongkorn Centenary Park, a flood-proof, water-retention public green space. Voraakhom also works as a design consultant for the Bangkok250, a major redevelopment project for the city’s 250th anniversary. Voraakhom is an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, Atlantic Fellow and Asia Foundation Development Fellow. She received her master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Video and article text via TED