Bangkok’s newest park, CU Centenary Park, has officially opened on 26 March 2017, adding much needed green space to the heart of Bangkok. The 29-rai urban ‘forest’ has been designed and created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chulalongkorn University, and it is part of a bigger plan to redevelop a 290-rai plot transforming the face of the Samyan neighbourhood.
While this green space commemorates the past, it is entirely executed with consideration of the future, showcasing how urban green spaces can be created to help the community, economy and environment. The idea is to step away from short term high rise buildings and move towards creating Bangkok’s very own ‘Silicon Valley’ where innovation, entrepreneurialism and new starts up are the focal points to the city’s future.
An exciting aspect of the park includes a schedule of public activities and events, many of which will be in line with the university’s research in the following topics: smart/inclusive society, food security, aging, and digital/robotics. The goal is to entertain and educate all who use the park — great news for anyone living in Bangkok with children, thinking about having children here or planning on moving to town with kids.
In keeping with Thailand’s natural ecosystems, the park contains a specially constructed wetland with accompanying rain garden, as well as a retention pond and underground drainage system to translate Thailand’s natural environment into an urban setting. There will also be an interactive virtual exhibition hall in the main hall of the park, showcasing new and exciting displays of socially topical subjects.
A green road flanked by tropical trees (formerly Soi Chula 5) links Rama 1 and Rama 4 Roads, providing expanded lanes, a bike lane, a multi-function space and parking space for 200 cars. Additionally, in order to create the ‘Silicon Valley’ ideal, a dedicated business space will likely house a shopping mall and offices, but the thinking is innovation over profit.
Very exciting to have this new green space in our city!
Image credit: CU100