Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Homesocial-and-lifestyleThe lungs of Bangkok

The lungs of Bangkok

The vitality of urban living is intricately linked to the presence of trees. Robust, mature trees offer us pure air, invigorate coolness, offer visual delight and provide dust filtration. Whether they are in public parks, on pavements or in our own homes, if we all help to care for them properly, according to arboricultural principles, large trees can live with us for a long time.

Realising the importance of urban trees, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and a network of green space organisations including the Urban Tree Network Association, Big Trees Group, We! Park Group, Thai Arboriculture Association, Ratchapruek Institute Foundation and the Urban Design and Development Center (UDDC), have collaborated to design and build green spaces and manage large trees throughout Bangkok. They will present their collaborative work at the “Green Festival 2023: Trees And The City: Because We Must Coexist” from Friday to Sunday at Benjakitti Park, Ratchadaphisek Road.

The festival is held annually by the network of organisations to reaffirm the importance of trees to urban life through cooperation, knowledge and proper management. The festival invites everyone to spend time in the park, get closer to nature and the environment, and learn about the importance of trees with many interesting things to see and do.

A chan tree in Lop Buri, before and after restoration.

The line-up of activities

A pilot area on Silom Road and Klong Phadung Krung Kasem is designed to accommodate trees and pedestrians. The pavements are wider than usual to allow more space for trees, which are planted in a way that minimises the risk of damage to their surroundings.

Meet six registered arborists from the BMA who provide advice and oversight on trees in various areas of the city such as Bang Phlat and Phra Nakhon districts.

The findings from a survey and health assessment of more than 10,000 trees across 10 areas that was carried out through a collaborative effort between diverse entities such as the BMA, Department of Highways, Department of Environment and volunteers. The assessment sought to collect data for the purpose of designing pedestrian landscapes that effectively incorporate trees into walkways, mitigate conflicts, rectify improper management of large trees and collaboratively improve more than 30 routes in Bangkok.

Understand the systematic tree management process by the BMA through collaborative, ethical management practices. One exemplary model is the restoration of rain trees, made vigorous and robust through the combined efforts of the BMA, Big Trees Project and ThaiBev among others. They will collaborate to establish standards in partnership with the Department of Forestry, the Professional Qualification Institute, Kasetsart University and Thammasat University. This aims to reduce instances of improper tree care in the future.

The workshop on “Innovations In Pedestrian Landscape And Tree Management” aims to explore the design and management of urban trees in various contexts using innovative principles, architectural concepts and new materials to ensure accessibility for everyone. The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence between trees and the city. The workshop will also showcase examples from Singapore featuring insights from a professional arborist.

An arborist at work in the Bang Phlat neighbourhood of Bangkok.

Discover innovations such as the application of porous asphalt around tree bases on Sutthisan Road. This gentle approach permits the passage of water and air and will be further implemented in partnership with the BMA.

Visit “Tree Clinic” booths where a team of professionals from the Department of Forestry and international experts will offer consultations on tree care. The acquired knowledge can be utilised for caring for trees at home or volunteering to care for large trees in the city.

Experience the thrill of the Thailand Tree Climbing Championship 2023, where men and women compete for the top spot. With over 40 participants from 10 countries, including both Thai and international competitors and judges, the competition aims to improve skills, facilitate the exchange of experiences and elevate standards for sustainable tree care.

Nature Fun, a programme offering family-friendly nature activities like tree climbing for children, nature hunts, night walks and nature art. This joint initiative involves the Ratchaphruek Institute Nature Plearn Club Foundation, the Arborist School and various organisations including the Department of Forestry and the BMA. Children will learn through observation, listening, touch and direct interaction with nature, fostering an understanding of the connection between humans and the environment.

Programme:

Friday, 9am to 12pm

Pavement and tree design innovation workshop by landscape architects, arborists and BMA officers.

Tree pruning demonstration by BMA arborists and volunteers.

Health assessment of trees along Asok Road.

Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 12pm

Thailand Tree Climbing Championship 2023, fun activities and “Tree Clinic” booths by partners.

Sunday, 9am to 10am

Opening of final round of Thailand Tree Climbing Championship 2023.

Report on collaboration in the past year by green space and tree experts, and organisations such the BMA.

Visit rain trees at Benchakitti Park after joint rehabilitation by BMA arborists and staff.

Activities beyond Bangkok:

Dec 18: Chainsaw Operation Safety at Height Workshop with Thammasat University, the Department of Highways and international arborists.

An educational session on how to take care of trees.

A nature walk for kids.

Dec 19: Visit by international arborists to Lop Buri’s historic trees.

For more information, call 080-586-8920.

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