Author: Supanut Udomsilaparsup
Instructors: Assoc.Prof.Dr.Ariya Aruninta, Mr. Chairatana Surajaras
Mun River Watershed is the biggest of 25 watersheds in Thailand. Mun River is the main river of this watershed. Thus, the upper part of the watershed is the highland whereas the middle and lower parts are the lowland. The seasonal wetland ecosystem can be found alongside the river. This outstanding feature takes part in both the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem. From this richness in ecosystem, it makes the seasonal wetland to become an important source for human population. However, the urban civilizations such as the city development, the road construction, and the weir construction have destroyed this seasonal wetland.
Reasons mentioned above are the main objectives for creating this project; Inundation Ecosystem Landscape: Re-Riverisation and Sustainable Development. It is situated on the area of 1,432 rai in Ubon rachathani, which consists of the 532-rai reservoir and the 900 rai wasteland. In addition, there is an anaerobic pond structure in the wasteland that provide the negative effect to all of Ubon Rachathani’s ecosystem.
Transformation Ecology system to Urbanizing system
In 1953, the project area was natural which was influenced by natural brooks on the upper part and Mun River on the lower part. As a result, it became the floodplain, aka seasonal wetland, with a variety of plants and living things. Moreover, the area nourished the people living around it and also served as the catchment area in the wet season.
In 1976, with the road construction and the expansion of the urban area of Ubon rachathani to the east, the project area then was divided into two parts. The upper part was used as the reservoir for the agriculture and the lower part remained the seasonal wetland.
In 2001, with the rapid expansion of the city and the urban society, the anaerobic pond was built in the lower area and destroyed the natural pond. It lessened the area’s capacity of being the catchment area of Mun River.
In 2016, the city expanded its territory to the area surrounded by the project. Roads were built on the side of Mun River and across the project area in order to connect the cities in both sides. There was an idea to build a dike at Mun River’s side to prevent the flood. That completely damaged the existing character of the natural seasonal wetland.
Re-riverisation : River and Rivulet
Because of the urban development, the ecosystem of Mun River and Rivulet was destroyed. In the next paragraph, the rivulet rehabilitation will be presented. It started from the upstream of the rivulet until it joined the Mun River.
From the analysis, the size of the reservoir, developed from the rivulet area, could be reduced and could still hold the water for 100 years from Ubon Ratchathani. This project will rehabilitate some parts of the reservoir to be natural rivulets which have a great potential for being a detention area in wet season.
There was a project that built a weir and an anaerobic pond by the side of Mun River which decreased the potential of being the seasonal wetland. Therefore, to solve this problem its the best to rehabilitate this area to make it a new seasonal wetland which affects the ecosystem and the city.
The development to create the interaction between the ecosystem and human being was divided into 4 parts by the surrounding context and the user; City Public Space, Rural Public Space, Mun River’s side Public Space, and Eco-learning & Eco-tour.
1. City Public Space refers to the public area to serve users from both the rural and the urban society. The upcoming activity will involve the cultural activities and the interaction between human being and the environment. It will enhance people’s consciousness and realization towards nature, both in the normal season and in the wet season.
2. Rural Public Space plays the part of being a corridor, connecting people’s way of life to nature. The area will be acting for the cultural activity of Ubon Rachathani people. The examples are that people may earn a living by being fishermen and farmers in the normal season, while in the wet season, people also may receive more income due to the variety of aquatic animals.
3. The rehabilitation of the riverside of Mun River will enhance the relation between users and Mun River. The upcoming activity will concern cultural activities in different seasons, for example, in normal season, people may hold the Songkarn Festival on the riverside of Mun River and Loykrathong Festival in wet season.
4. The area for Eco-learning & Eco-tour will enhance people’s awareness towards nature. The attractiveness of this area is the dynamic changes of nature over time.
Finally, these ideas presented here are alternatives generated by the analysis on the ecosystem and city context. Such analysis may lead to the proper area rehabilitation and suitable development of the sustainable relationship between nature and human beings.