Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Bang Krachao-Bangkok Bike Tour

A Bangkok bike tour of Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า) in Phra Pradaeng (พระประแดง) makes an excellent day trip. Read more of my Bangkok travel tips here: http://m...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier I shared a fantastic satellite image of Bang Krachao, called the green lung of Bangkok.  This lush oasis of green on a bend in the river is a vivid contrast to the surrounding, sprawling metropolitan area.  For an "on the ground" perspective, the video above is a good visual introduction to Bang Karchao and the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city.  These two different vantage points on an urban park are both very helpful in understanding place. 


Tagstourismplace, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.

Consultdustry's curator insight, June 7, 2015 11:42 PM

This is a Mark Wiens video - He loves to eat and his great video's on YouTube are a big mystery tour to food stalls and small restaurants. Watch his face when he enjoys food !
This video is about Bang Kachao Bangkok's green lung, great to relax and also take a look at the Baang Naam Pueng Market.

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Bang Kachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung

Bang Kachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung | Geography Education |

"In the heart of Thailand’s most populous city, an oasis stands out from the urban landscape like a great “green lung.” That’s the nickname given to Bang Kachao—a lush protected area that has escaped the dense development seen elsewhere in Bangkok.  The city is built on the alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. Toward the southern end, near the Gulf of Thailand, is an old meander that never quite formed an oxbow lake. That meander traces the boundary of Bang Kachao, which TIME magazine once called the 'best urban oasis' in Asia.  According to a travel story in The New York Times, Bang Kachao is gaining popularity among tourists lured by bike tours, a floating farmers’ market, and the relaxed atmosphere."

Tags: physical, fluvialremote sensing, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video in a good visual introduction to Bang Kacho in the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city.  

Savannah Rains's curator insight, May 27, 2015 1:51 AM

This scoop shows an example of built environmental space. The highly urban and crowded Thailand has little green space. So why is this massive green park looking landmass there? Its a strictly environmental section of land to help water flow into the ocean. The people call it the "green lung" because its plants give off oxygen and provide a contrast from its urban sprawl. This article shows the importance that should be placed on having more strictly environmental places in big cities. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:06 PM

It's interesting to see the mixture of natural and manmade landscapes in this image. Humans have an enormous influence on the world around us- we have moved entire rivers for our own purposes, reshaped entire regions. In China, we have literally made it rain. Therefore, it's nice to see remnants of the rich environments that used to cover the urban sprawls of many of the world's largest cities, like Central Park in New York. Bang Kachao in Bangkok is another example of this, a reminder of the richness of the region before it was overwhelmed by the urban development that has characterized Bangkok over the previous century. The oasis serves as a valuable tourist attraction, as Westerners come to enjoy the bike trails and small farming community within Thailand's green lung. Leave it to hipsters to travel halfway across the globe just to enjoy nature within the confines of one of the world's largest cities. 

brielle blais's curator insight, May 3, 3:55 PM
This showcases how important physical geography is. This "green lung" breaks up the high urbanized Bangkok. This helps the environment thrive and helps to cut down of emissions that affect climate change which is a problem in some areas. 
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Floods Show What Lies Ahead for Sinking Bangkok

Floods Show What Lies Ahead for Sinking Bangkok | Geography Education |
The Thai capital, built on swampland, is slowly sinking and the floods in Bangkok could be merely a foretaste of a grim future as climate change makes its...

If 'natural' disasters are becoming more fierce and impacting human societies more, we need to ask ourselves: are the physical geographic systems shifting independently or is it human society that is causing the changes?  Is it the force of the hurricanes, earthquakes, floods etc. that have intensified or is the way within which humans live on the land that make us more susceptible and vulnerable to the effects of these disasters?    

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:24 AM

Seems that sinking cities is not just a problem for Venice.  As the cities grow larger and more and more land is needed, small cities that were built on unstable land are now larger.  These new cities cannot  be supported by the land they were originally built on.  As the natural disasters occur, and we know they will, they are intensified by the fact that a city has grown and more people are there.  There will always be natural disasters, but when a major flood hits and unpopulated area it is still a natural disaster just not on the same scale as hitting a city that is overpopulated or built up to a point where the land it is on just can't support it.  It is the human part of the disaster that makes it much more then just a natural disaster.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 29, 2014 6:17 PM

This situation with Bangkok is the same problem that New Orleans is facing. Building on lands that used to get regular deposits of silt is a bad idea. The ground not only continues to compact and essentially "sink" but the planet is covered in water that changes level regularly. Unfortunately, New Orleans has shown that levees don't really work and the earth will always reclaim the land it wants back.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 12:44 PM

Bangkok is one of the many cities that is severely threatened by flooding. Bangkok's slow sinking into the marshland combined with sea level rise could prove fatal for this city. Already the capital experiences major flooding, and officials are considering the prospect of moving the city. Otherwise, billions of dollars a year would be required to stave off the effects of climate change. 


Now that coastal cities (especially highly populated cities) are at more threat than ever from climate change, countries are going to have to figure out a way to battle the issue. Should we fight to maintain these lands, or do we allow them to return to nature? Natural environments are better able to buffer natural disasters such as storms and floods, but the cost, both culturally and economically would be incomprehensible. 

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Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects

Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects | Geography Education |

This is modern cosmopolitan Bangkok, the second most expensive Southeast Asian city after Singapore.  Along with explosive city growth, the demand for urban housing has increased substantially. Due to a lack of sufficient and affordable housing, communities have settled into the cracks, eliciting a diagnosed social and institutional ‘pocket-urbanism’ that forms barriers of interaction among communities, and certainly between communities and authority figures...

Via Lauren Moss
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:45 PM

The poor of Bangkok have been settling their communities in the cracks of wealthier areas, creating a phenomenom of "pocket-urbanization." The artical talks about an emerging "ethical turn" in architecture. People will certainly enjoy their lives better when they are empowered in their own living situations, but also we have seen how poor infrastructure is a target for the worst of natural disasters. Rebuilding these areas would be good for many parties.

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Guardian: Thailand flooding threatens Bangkok

Guardian: Thailand flooding threatens Bangkok | Geography Education |
Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra warns population to expect floods as rising waters reach capital city...

Geographic ironies....some struggle in drought while others have more water than their lands can handle. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:34 PM

Another image gallery! This one showcases the Thailand flooding. I found the first picture immediately interesting in that the highway signs are identical to our ones over here, save the difference of language. There's also just as much play as their is damage here. Many pictures show children and even older people taking the time to play around in the sudden water that floods into their city. In countries where flooding is a matter of "when" rather than "if," the citizens are often more prepared and take a less frantic approach as they know what to do. That being said, it is more rare of flooding to hit Bangkok than many other places in Thailand, so this did cause some serious disaster.

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Maeklong Railway Market

"Multi-purpose land use."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many videos online showing the Maeklong Railway Market, but I'll share just a few. Clearly the 8 times a day runs like clockwork for the vendors, but as this other video shows, the 8 times a day that the trains go through the market an it becomes a tourist attraction. Locally it's called "Ta-Lad-Rom-Hoob," which means The Furled Umbrella Market.  My students are usually quite shocked to see how this city market in Thailand operates and this video is a usefully 'hook' for lesson on population growth, urbanization, economic development, sustainability, megacities and city planning. 

Questions to Ponder: Why does this system work in Thailand, but is inconceivable for the United States?  How many spaces are single use spaces that remain empty most of the day?  How does the both the train line and the market need to accommodate the other? 

Tags: Thailand, Southeast Asiaurbanland use, megacitiesdevelopment, density, sustainability, planning.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:15 PM
Definitely a good way for multi-purpose land use. They are utilizing the space they have conservatively, they really nailed this one on the head coming up with an idea to put a market right on a railroad track. Is this concept even safe or sanitary? Most definitely not. First off, it is not sanitary because that train on a daily basis has gone through all sorts of dirt and the train is literally passing right over the farmer's food that he is still going to sell to customers. Also, probably not the safest, because the people are just inches away from the passing train and with the wrong move, they can possibly fall onto the track and they are dead. I will hand it to them though, they act in an orderly fashion and move swiftly both when it comes and when it leaves. As a matter of fact, they go on with life so well after it leaves, it is almost like the train never passed through in the first place.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2:57 AM
In one video we see issues surrounding urban development, city planning (or lack thereof), population density, and land use, among other topics. As more and more people move into Southeast Asia's unplanned cities, there will be more crowding and people will have to use every last available inch of land, even if that means going right up to the train tracks. This is a culture shock to people in the West, where most land is single-use only.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 12:16 PM
Urban planning in a rapidly urbanizing area can be difficult, but in this area two very different urban entities use the land together so beautifully. This market was built around the train tracks and when the train passes through at a slow speed the market clears the tracks and both work together so flawlessly. This is uncommon for us to see because many cities in America had room to grow and expand and had ample planning time because urbanization happened much slower than it is in Asia, with urbanization happening so fast the countries need to use their space flexibly. 
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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...


Seth Dixon's insight:

I've used similar videos in my classes and students are usually quite shocked to see how a city like Bangkok, Thailand operates.  I've used this as a 'hook' for lessons of population growth, urbanization, economic development, sustainability, megacities and city planning.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:15 PM

On the one hand this disturbed me. All I kept thinking when I saw the people go back on the tracks is that they could easily be killed.In fact, I wonder how many accidents have ever occurred near this area. All it would take is some sort of malfunction on the train in which the horn wasn’t sounding to provide ample warning or someone gets in another person’s way so there isn’t enough time to close down the shop. On the other hand, this made me realize just how efficient a population could become at using space. Everything was timed so that the entire area moved out of the way without an issue. So rather than let any land go to waste, the area uses it despite the risk to its population. Though it really isn't like the population has a choice though. So in instances where there is such overpopulation, it is interesting to see how well the society can adapt to the phenomenon. I do wonder what would happen if the country becomes more developed and the population declines. Would this type of land continue in the future or be disband? I know that in our country there are many laws that would make this illegal, but our country also has the space avoid developing the land in such a manner. When comparing it to the laws of the United States, I would think the country would eventually drift away from this use of land when possible. However, now that I watch the video, I have a new appreciation for maximizing land and I hope that the efficient could continue. Just in a less scary manner. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 2:51 PM

Talk about using every inch of space available to you.  I find this video crazy not only because of the safety hazards, but just how people seem to go about this like it is normal.  This would never take place in America!

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 1:29 PM

An absolute amazing dynamic is seen in this video.  To say that Bangkok is trying to use most of its open space up would be an understatement.  In developed countries, you would not only never see this happen but you would not even see a thought of doing something like this.  There are violations every where you look.  

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Thailand flood reaches Bangkok

Thailand flood reaches Bangkok | Geography Education |
Flood waters inundating Thailand north of Bangkok since July have made the journey south and reached the capital. The disaster is responsible for 400 deaths in Thailand and neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam.


Too much of a good thing (water) can literally be disastrous. 

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 20, 2014 9:15 PM

The flooding that has been going on since July, has now reached Bangkok. It is the cause to over about 400 deaths. The flooding has flooded over a quarter of Thailand's rice crops, and rice is their biggest exporter. The government has given the people a 5 day period to evacuate the area. These damages are sought to cost about 6 billion dollars. I looked at all of the pictures presented in the article and a couple of them really stood out to me. One thing that caught my eye was the animals. Along with the flood and the destruction, also comes the animals that live in the water. there are pictures of snakes and crocodiles or alligators that the people in Thailand have caught. Another picture that caught my eye was the pictures of the streets and roads. I looks like Venice out there! The streets are completely flooded and all the people have their own little rafts that they now have to call home now since their homes are destroyed from the flooding. the last photo i liked was the kid (assuming from arm size that it's a kid) carrying money in one hand while his head was fully submerged in the water. This shows to me how flooded some places were that people couldn't even touch the ground to walk, but he had to swim under water to keep the money dry for whatever he was going to purchase. Its terrible what these people are going through over in Thailand.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 10:14 PM

Many of us have experienced some small type of a flood but I can't imagine having a flood wipe out my home, especially if it came from another area. The flood in  northern Thailand has reached Bangkok damaging numerous things in it's way, even killing 400 people. This flood has reached many borders and those countries should be concerned and prepared if it does reach them so they know how to respond. Thailand is the world's biggest rice exporter and this flood has wiped everything out, which effect multiple countries. Damages from this flood could cost six billion dollars which has become their worst flood in 50 years. The pictures from this flood are devastating and these people are allowed to evacuate but many don't have a place to go. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:10 PM

flooding is common in Bangkok, but people dying is hardly a common result, proving that this is a flood of unusual proportions, and something which requires swift action.

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The Nation: Bangkokians must do their part

The Nation: Bangkokians must do their part | Geography Education |
Bangkokians must do their part, now The Nation There is one painful fact at this stage of the flood disaster: The waters need to pass through Bangkok as fast as possible to ease the suffering of...


Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fantastic geographic issue (horrible for people, but intensely spatial).  Should the primate city be spared because of its overwhelming national prominence?  Should the flooded regional provinces suffer more to spare the economic, financial and political center of the country?  The urban hierarchy impacts many national decisions.  For some elevation/flooding maps, click here.

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