Thailand’s capital has been criticised for years for not providing adequate public places where residents can enjoy a more sustainable lifestyle. Just recently, an opinion piece from the Bangkok Post mentioned that the city is often ranked as one of the lowest in the world in terms of green zones, such as parks, which can serve as a healthy social place for interaction.
While the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has announcedat the start of 2015 that new parks meant for socialising and relaxation would add up to 1.35 rais of green spaces in the city by 2016, residents who live far from the identified expansion areas will still lack a healthy place in which to interact with other people in their own neighbourhood.
One local developer, MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Ltd), is leading the way to promote healthy social places in the country with the Whizdom developments, whose flagship mixed-use project, Whizdom 101, will be a 43-rai prime property located near Sukhumvit 101, an up-and-coming residential area in the heart of Bangkok adjacent to the BTS Punnawithi station, with access to two expressways, connection to the Samrong-Ladprao monorail, the Bangna-Suvanabhumi LRT and a planned BTS extension to Samutprakan.
“Whizdom 101 project is a good example of a well-thought out design that offers a natural living environment within a residential area. A high proportion of its land area is left open – around 65 percent – while more than 30 percent will be a dedicated space for greenery, featuring native trees, fruits and flowers that will draw birds and local animals, and which will eventually create the ecosystem in the area,” said Mr. Suttha Ruengchaipaiboon, executive director at MQDC.
The overall ‘natural living’ design of the entire development, highlighted by a 1.3-km bicycle lane and jogging track, will be undertaken by a Whizdom alliance comprising design experts the Gensler group and DiDesign.
According to MQDC, the first residential component at Whizdom 101 will be called Whizdom Connect Sukhumvit, designed by architectural firm HB Design Co Ltd. With a planned completion in Q1 2018, the 677-unit condo project will have immediate access to healthy facilities, such as fitness centres, swimming pool, and common areas for children and adults, aside from landscaped and open spaces.
“Urban living does not need to compromise a physical connection with the natural. Green and ecosystem can be introduced to city living through well-defined spaces and careful planning,” said Mr. Suttha. “Residents who live in the city would cohesively learn to live with the nature at Whizdom 101.“
As well as physical amenities that are closer to nature, the developer ensures that online connectivity is highlighted as well, making the entire development a fully integrated digital town, with free Wi-Fi access, plus a dedicated space for technology and research, which is said to be the first of its kind in Bangkok.
“Whizdom 101 would provide not only access to cyberspace to its residents and visitors, but also dedicate a generous community space for connecting people with community events, lifestyle activities, art and culture events in a relaxing and playful, vibrant and full of life atmosphere,” Mr. Suttha noted.
“People would have an opportunity to enjoy both online and offline connection with their families, friends and new relationships. Taking people faces off the screen is not the objective but connecting online activities within theWhizdom 101 social community event is our main goal,” he explained.
With such a well-rounded community, it will be only a matter of time before more residential developments within Bangkok will promote green, social places that can impact the lives of residents and visitors.