“A city’s urban resilience is characterised by its social and physical capacity to take on different types of pressures, endure through them, and recover from them. Whether hit by an earthquake or economic recession, things like governance, ecosystem balance, physical infrastructure, social services, and community support networks, all determine how a city bounces back. Conversations around urban resilience in Thailand, however, remain primarily on physical infrastructure, while social capacity—people’s knowledge, mental and physical health, and resourcefulness during a time of crisis—have remained more or less a faded backdrop.
Ploy’s decision to focus on universal design, she told me, has everything to do with building urban resilience in Thailand. People are ageing, losing abilities, living in poverty, and some need particular types of assistance. The fluctuating climate is also adding to these stresses. She said, “What we’re doing is planning for the future, for the environment that’s always changing.” Tar-Saeng Studio is proving that building adaptive environments through participatory approaches can increase social capacity by minimising vulnerabilities and strengthening communities. Their next goal is to demonstrate that these grassroots activities can be scaled-up to the regional and national levels.”
A very interesting piece from a friend of mine working in OpenSpace Thailand. I wrote about one of their projects recently in A space to dance: “the community of Stars”, Bangkok, Thailand. Read the full blog about Universal Design here.