Several metal-sheeted hovels belonging to longtime residents were recently demolished, clearing the way for Pathumwananurak Park behind the Central World shopping mall to open, 49 months after it was finished.
The park spans 40 rai (64,000sqm) and was completed in December 2018, according to developer Landprocess, which built it for the Crown Property Bureau. Landprocess is headed by celebrated landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, who is also credited with Bangkok’s Centenary Park, a university rooftop farm in the northern metro area, and a controversial canal park.
Coconuts has reached out to Kotchakorn for comment.
A sign at the park declares it to be an “Oasis in the City” that offers a “fresh remix of nature, open air and flowing waters.” It’s divided into five sections including a water purification center, outdoor theater, walking path, green forest and rest area.
It’s located on Ratchadamri Road and bounded by the Central World shopping mall and Khlong Saen Saep.
The land had previously been home to more than 1,000 residences, according to a Voice TV report. Eight years ago, the government claimed eminent domain to turn it into a public space, and the families living there were evicted in return for compensation. The remaining residents, some of whom had lived there 30 years, were unable to leave because they had nowhere to go and required further assistance.
The park is fashioned in the form of a Thai numeral “9,” as it was built soon after the death of King Rama 9.
The demolition was noted by social media page Street Hero.
This story originally appeared on our media partner, Coconuts Bangkok.