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DAB525 - CHIANG MAI

By Tim Cornish & Josh Kim
by

Tim Cornish

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of DAB525 - CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai, Thailand A City Study of Tim Cornish | Josh Kim Morphological Analysis Road and Soi layout within the "Old City" Section of Phra Pok Kloa 2 Mobility Analysis - Road Types Mobility Analysis - Transport Mode Nolli Map - Edge of the "Old City" Detailed Look at the City 1 2 Historical Analysis Historical Analysis Axis of the "Old City" Historical Growth The settling principles of Chiang Mai where influenced by feng shui which governed the placement of the old city to be located central between the hills, the cities in the west and the Ping River in the east (Wyatt & Wichienkeeo, 1999).

The growth of Chiang Mai occurred very slowly until the mid 20th Century (Scheer & Scheer, 2002). In contemporary Chiang Mai there is a conglomeration of planned and unplanned elements, historical and religious principles and a wide variety of building types and scales which lends itself to being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand (Lonely Planet, 2013).

Looking at the Historical Timeline of Chiang Mai you can see the growth is predominantly in the northern and southern directions with growth limited partially by the mountains to the west and the Ping River to the East. The 1952 and 1985 layers show how Chiang Mai’s urban land use grew in Latitude prior to its rapid expansion in a northern and southerly direction between 1985 and 2000. The historical walled city has been subsumed in the development of Modern Chiang Mai. Several Axis’ that act inside of the walled city have been extended onto the Greater City of Chiang Mai. What acts in the centre of this Axis’s is the now ruins of the Wat Chedi Luang.
The First Diagram shows the axis’ running horizontally and vertically in the proximity of Wat Chedi Luang within the old walled city. The Second Diagram depicts how these axis’ extend further into the newer urban area’s of Chiang Mai via the arterial roads emerge from the walled city.
Wat Chedi Luang, completed in 1475 was the tallest structure in Chiang Mai until modern area, standing at approximately 80m in height (Sacred-Destinations, 2009). At this time it held the most sacred Buddhist object, which now is kept in Bangkok. Even after a devastating earthquake in 1545, Wat Chedi Luang stood at over 60m tall. The Scale of Wat Chedi Luang and its Religious significance renders it a monument of Chiang Mai. 1 2 Typical of a Thai city are the Soi which are small streets which weave off the main roads often linking to other main roads.
The Soi open up the larger blocks to access via road and create new edges to build along rather than leaving deep blocks vacant and are named in the format (street branched off) Soi X.
Branching off the Soi are the even smaller sub soi that allow access into the middle of the blocks enabling the high density of buildings within the old city.
The Soi and Sub Soi are organic in their planning and followed the demand for use, rather than set out and then constructed along. Transportation into greater Chiang Mai is not an issue with several mode of transport such as plane, train and buses arriving at depots on the edge of the city. From which several modes of transport are available to get into the city. “Public” transportation in Chiang Mai consists of the Tuk-Tuk and the Songthaews that are a hybrid of a bus and a taxi (CAVANAGH, 2013). A public bus system has emerged that is arguably inconsistent in its operation (CAVANAGH, 2013) with two of the primary routes highlighted with dashed lines in the transport analysis.
Residents and visitors also navigate the city either on foot, by car or on bicycles. The Soi and Sub-Soi do not lend themselves to be navigated easily by any larger forms of transport due to their very narrow nature. Due to the narrow nature of the roads and an increasing population using Tuk-Tuk’s and their own vehicles, traffic congestion in Chiang Mai is severe. The city of Chiang Mai faces mobility issues in it’s transformation from a smaller fortress styled city to a city with symptoms of urban sprawl. The “Old City” of Chiang Mai was small enough to be primarily navigated on foot, which at the time was the primary mode of transport.

However during the period between 1989 and 2000 Chiang Mai’s footprint significantly exceeded that of the “Old City” and it’s immediate surroundings. With the increased population in Chiang Mai so did the amount of traffic on Chiang Mai roads.

The arterial roads link the City to the outer suburbs and villages. Where as the ring roads connect suburbs or villages in a similar radius from the "Old City". The Super highway links Chiang Mai not only to near by towns and villages quickly it also is Chiang Mai's main connection to the rest of Thailand. . Detailed Look at the City 3 Section of Bumrung Buri Section of Chang Klan Road 4 The relationships of the city can best be interpreted through a selection of urban sections which show how the buildings contribute to a certain atmosphere within the city. The first urban section depicts a section cut through two multi level buildings that are separated by a Soi (a small street) . Both ground level floors of these buildings function as shops are seen to extend out onto the street. The traffic flow through the area is limited to small motorbikes and pedestrian access. This is a key characteristic of the districts within Chiang Mai as many of the districts are self contained where all the needs of the residents are generally within walking distance. This supports the high building and population density within the city. The other levels of the building appear to be for domestic use with the exception being the building on the right side of the section which appears to be a public space such as a restaurant or bar. This section is a key urban section that depicts the high density characteristic of the city. The remaining two sections show a more open urban environment. The second urban section shows a market place open to a road and a public island like space between two roads. The market place building appears to be an open warehouse style building with high ceilings and extends across the footpath. The third street section depicts a similar scene with taller hotel or apartment building and two main paths divided by a multi lane road. This is also another typical street section that can be found in Chiang Mai taken in the area between the “Old City” and the Ping River and proves to be a great contrast to the higher density, small street urban section. The perspectives build upon the building characteristics identified in the urban sections and analyses in greater detail the urban environment. This is done through the graphical identification of roads(grey), paths (green), edges (pink), nodes (blue) and landmarks (yellow).Through analysing and identifying these elements, the urban environment is able to be broken down to their core element which leads to a greater understanding of the city. The four perspectives focus on a walk through the old city leading to the Wat Chedi Lung. The first two perspectives depict a typical street where the street is lined with relatively low set houses and small businesses. The ground levels of these buildings are typically used for a small business where the owners will live on the higher levels in the building. In the second perspective there is a religious landmark which was once a religious node and still functions as a meeting place in the city. The third perspective continues along the route to the Wat Chedi Lung and depicts the street view just outside the entrance with the iconic Viharn building in view. The Viharn is characterised as being highly decorated and is the closest building on the Wat Chedi Lung temple ground to the road. Due to its location and distinct decorative characteristics, the Viharn can be classified as a landmark within the district. The concrete wall that surrounds the temple grounds adds another layer to the edge treatment of the district and creates a boundary for the enclosed space. The final perspective shows The Wat Chedi Lung (temple) and a section of the surrounding area. The temple has four entrances, one on each of the square sides of the outer foundation of the temple. The temple is surrounded by an open space that functions as a large path and circulation space around the temple. The temple itself can be classified as a landmark and the surrounding path area that could also be classified as a large node as it is a main attraction within the city and therefore draws people from all over the city. By Studying the Urban Morphology Map of the “old city” it can be seen that there are few very distinctive zones such as industrial, commerce, residential that take up any large section of land. What occurs is several districts which are self serviced with places of worship, commerce and education lying close to one another. This pattern repeats itself over the span of the “old city”. Although there appears to be a lot of “open space” for a high-density city a lot of this space is in fact taken up by the natural bush. The exception of this is the space around hotels and motels, which are generally used as car parks or are open blocks.Looking at the clusters of houses it is visible how the network of soi and sub soi acts in activating the middle of the larger blocks. Without a doubt the most common building typology in the morphological analysis is the Low Rise mixed use where the bottom level services the Street or Soi and the top level house’s the residents. This Typology has been utilised in throughout the whole of the “Old City” and is more common along the Soi and Streets.The Second Map shows a small section of the newer are of Chiang Mai, between the “Old City” and the Ping River. Here there are little to houses where most of the residence is either taken in apartment buildings or the low rise mixed use buildings. Again open space is predominantly native bush however the area’s adjacent to the Hotels are used as parking for Tuk-Tuk’s as the “night bazaar” area is a popular district. Noli and figure ground maps are an ideal way of investigating and understanding the layout of the blocks and the buildings within. Studying this section of the Noli map you can see the high-density nature of the buildings in Chiang Mai. Without doing a morphological analysis of Chiang Mai it was difficult to determine the true type of building footprint, as there are several buildings with the same footprint shape and size that serve many different uses in this section of Chiang Mai.What a Noli map does however is show the relationships between the buildings in the study area. For instance Wat Chedi Luang is a heavy structure with four discrete openings. Where as the pavilion to the east is a long delicate structure with entrances from the front and rear. Again the open space is primarily native bush with few large open lots left within the mote of the “Old City” Noli and figure ground maps are an ideal way of investigating and understanding the layout of the blocks and the buildings within. Studying this section of the Noli map you can see the high-density nature of the buildings in Chiang Mai. Without doing a morphological analysis of Chiang Mai it was difficult to determine the true type of building footprint, as there are several buildings with the same footprint shape and size that serve many different uses in this section of Chiang Mai.
What a Noli map does however is show the relationships between the buildings in the study area. For instance Wat Chedi Luang is a heavy structure with four discrete openings whereas the pavilion to the east is a long delicate structure with entrances from the front and rear. Again the open space is primarily native bush with few large open lots left within the mote of the “Old City” Density & Use of the City Analytical Sketches Analytical Sketches Nolli - "Old City" Street Section Detailed Look at the City Detailed Look at the City Detailed Look at the City Street Section Density & Use of the City Density & Use of the City Density & Use of the City Density & Use of the City (Life events Resources, 2001) (Mappery Resources, 2009) (Amarasiriwardena, N.P.) (Alyona Travels Resources, 2013) Detailed Look at the City Markers for Analytical Sketches and Street Sections
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