The solution to floods could be in this park

by Bharat Duggal

The solution to floods could be in this park

December 11, 2020

Every year, several states of India sink under the massive floods, affecting millions of people and animals.

Even metropolitan cities like Mumbai suffer during the rampant monsoons and Bangalore have come up with the idea of digging a million wells. While rescue operations and donations flow in mostly, have ‘we’ ever thought of a better solution?  

The Story of Bangkok

Thailand faced one of the worst floods in history in 2011, which devastated Bangkok.

When Kotchakorn Voraakhom and her family got displaced in the floods, she realized the fault is not with nature but the flaws in modern infrastructure.  

Bangkok doesn’t have enough area for the water to accumulate, so Voraakhom designed the Centenary Park at Chulalongkorn University in the centre of the city which spans over an area of 11-acres. The park became functional in 2017.

Hidden beneath the trees and grass lies its most interesting feature: vast underground water containers and a large pond.

gallons of water can be collected

The science behind it

The park is tilted at a three-degree angle to encourage gravity and help the water flow in the direction. 

When the floods hit, the water that is not absorbed by plants flows into these receptacles. After the floods subside, excess water is released into the public sewage system. 

Thanks to this, the water that usually devastates Bangkok gets stored inside this park.

 About 1,000,000 gallons of water can be collected, which can come in handy during the dry season. The park’s retention pond allows people to ride water bikes and help clean water.  

Hence, the logic of the design is not just to avoid the floods, but in making use of every drop of water.

The science behind the working of the "Green Roof"

"It's not about getting rid of the floods but instead finding a way to live with it, which the park advocates."

- Kotchakorn Voraakhom

Why isn't the park an ideal solution?

Unfortunately, the park is just 0.03% of Bangkok’s area. So, the problem of floods won’t vanish entirely. But it’s a great start and they have similar projects in the pipeline.

This is an example for all of us that we need to understand climate risk and work on a solution.

With climate change pushing global temperatures, one can expect more severe cases of erratic rains, storms, and floods across the world. This can be brutal to millions of people who live along coastlines.  

Don’t you think it’s better to promote innovative thinking than cry over nature’s wrath?

Considering that the size of Bangkok is 1,569 km², the park might not provide a solution to the entire city
Problem of floods in India

Starting from early June,  several Indian states like Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, and Karnataka live under the fear of the devastating floods.  There aren’t just the ones who die, there are also thousands of locals that are displaced along with a substantial loss of livestock and property.

atleast 0
people died in the 2019 Indian floods during monsoon

But, what if there was a way to solve this?  

This is exactly the line of thought Kotchakorn Voraakhom followed when Bangkok flooded and affected her along with the millions that suffered. She developed an idea that can help us to live with the dangerous side of nature rather than combat it.  

She designed a park that will solve the issue of floods while utilising water, which could be the beginning of the practice of living with nature in all ways.  

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