Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

Document Type



The canals of Bangkok were a vital form of infrastructure from when the city was founded in 1782 until the 1850s, when the road system was introduced. Built for agricultural irrigation, the canals served as the primary means of transportation and significantly influenced the form and orientation of Bangkok’s early settlements and public institutions. With the implementation of roads, new buildings were constructed to be oriented towards the streets and away from the canals. The canals and their communities subsequently decreased in visibility. Today, most of the land along the waterways is publically owned. As a result, the land adjacent to the canals has come to house squatter communities, and the canals themselves have become dumping sites. In northern Bangkok, the Bang Bua Canal Community consists of 12 informal settlements that lie on the banks of the 13-kilometer long Bang Bua Canal. Baan Man Kong, a national slum upgrading program established by the Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), has continuously worked in the Bang Bua Canal Community since 2004. The program’s general approach has been to provide government funds in the form of housing loans and infrastructure subsidies. A component of the development program has implemented the use of organic materials and water plants for regular canal cleaning. The CODI has also funded household grease-trap installation programs that provide wastewater filters to help limit the flow of wastewater directly to the canal. Despite these efforts, as of 2014, the canal is still polluted and the 3,400 families of this settlement still lack access to the water as an open space amenity. Most importantly, this illustrates that appropriate urban water management systems have not been utilized in this area. Using the Bang Bua Canal Community as a case study, this design thesis focuses on developing strategies to upgrade these informal settlements along Bangkok’s waterways with a holistic approach to reconnect these communities to the city. The proposal aims to develop systems for a dynamic landscape that will transform the water’s edge into a healthier urban environment. The study will illustrate how the built environment impacts society. In a broader sense, this proposal provides a vision for the use of urban water management techniques and landscape treatment systems in order to improve the water quality and the use of the water’s edge as public spaces in highly dense areas.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Mossop, Elizabeth