Udon Thani Master Plan / Udon Thani, Thailand
Green Infrastructure Master Plan / Udon Thani, Thailand

EstudioOCA has developed a master plan for the City of Udon Thani, Thailand, to alleviate severe flooding and provide a framework for future development. The plan utilizes green infrastructure to increase resiliency, while also creating a network of new public spaces throughout the city. Funded by a Rockefeller Foundation grant, the master plan includes research and development of hydrological models, capacity building within the city and region, and design guidelines for green streets, linear park systems, wetland nature parks, and canal restoration.

estudioOCA's team of landscape architects and planners lead the process, collaborating with water resource engineers and scientists to develop a flood risk reduction methodology that could be replicated anywhere, with a focus on the Southeast Asia region. The methodology includes, among other components, hydrological modeling analysis, capacity building, and sustainable urban design and planning.

We worked alongside the United States Army Corp to train city engineers on using the hydrological models and how to plan green infrastructure as integral parts of future development.

The master plan aims to make use of the full potential of green infrastructure, controlling flooding while also utilizing these spaces to increase quality of life through networks of green streets, linear parks, neighborhood parks, and large nature parks.

The green streets have been designed to prioritize pedestrian safety and increase access to businesses through strategic strips of planting and parking, naturally heightening the awareness of drivers. These vegetated allow for increased storm water capacity and drainage, providing a natural buffer to reduce flooding. These vegetated areas integrate seating and other new pedestrian zones, increasing foot traffic along commercial corridors. Rows of canopy trees provide shade.

A series of canals through the city originally provided flood control, but have become degraded and underutilized. The master plan proposes to restore the canals and develop them as a system of linear parks, providing a safe bicycle and pedestrian network throughout the city.

In addition, land has been identified for development of large nature parks that serve as wetlands, providing large expanses for recreation and flood control. Smaller parcels are being developed to create a neighborhood public park system which double as retaining basins.

The Green Infrastructure Master Plan for Udon Thani was originated as part of two initiatives that worked on several cities in Southeast Asia: M-BRACE (Mekong-Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities), and ACCERN (Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network). Since 2010, the goal of these two initiatives, specifically developed for Southeast Asian cities located in the Mekong region, had been to provide capacity building for disaster risk reduction and urban climate change resilience.