Bangkok: Transformative Urbanism


The city of Bangkok has recently endured a fundamental shift in its urban ecology from a water-based urban system focused on canal networks and agriculture to a land-based system – a retreat to terra firma. Simultaneously, global processes of rapid urbanization have created marginalized zones within the fragmented urban context, areas that lie outside conventional modes of organization. Paradoxically, many of these ‘informal’ areas are situated on or near high land values. As a result, these areas find themselves at the threshold of change, one that threatens to materialize the constant risk of removal into reality. These spaces are the shadow of the fragmented metropolis – an archipelago of urban frontiers, a fragmented periphery on the cusp of change.