With study of urban sanitation and flooding in Bangkok, Tina Yun Ting Tsai receives 2020 ASLA Award of Excellence

Sectional view of community

Tina Yun Ting Tsai (MLA ’20) has received an Award of Excellence in the Residential Design Category in this year’s American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards. Her project, Informality as Filter: A Renewed Land Sharing Plan for Khlong Toei Community, examines informal settlements in Bangkok, specifically the Khlong Toei Community, as a way to understand and solve problems of urban sanitation and flooding. The project aims to preserve and protect local culture and citizens by introducing a land-sharing plan that promotes improvements of the existing water supply and food production chains. Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Niall Kirkwood and 2020 Design Critic in Landscape Architecture Kotchakorn Voraakhom were instructors in the option studio for which Tsai completed the project.

The ASLA jury explains: “Bangkok’s Khlong Toei community—an informal settlement along one of the city’s many canals—suffers from contaminated water, degraded health conditions, and the constant threat of relocation. But if this impermanent community were made a permanent and planned part of the city, as this project proposes, a mutually beneficial arrangement between inhabitants and city government could blossom. Starting with a multi-functional infrastructure of shared toilets feeding a wastewater treatment plant, greywater would be generated for use in community orchards. A retention pond and storage tanks would collect excess monsoon rainwater to be used during the drier months. By addressing this community’s needs, rather than shunting it to another temporary location, the local government would advance social equity while improving urban hygiene through a new, sustainable ecology.”