Kotchakorn Voraakhom is a landscape architect from Thailand who works on building productive green public space that tackles climate change in urban dense area and climate-vulnerable communities.
Voraakhom never thought her childhood playtime favourites – boat paddling with friends in the floodwaters in front of her house–would later become a catastrophic disaster: In 2011, Thailand suffered the worst flooding in its history, stranding families, including Voraakhom’s. In response, Voraakhom set out to populate Bangkok with climate-resilient green spaces as buffers against the annual tempests. This park, the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park, gives Bangkok a spark of aspiration in how the city can choose to address its threatened future while allowing new landscape architecture strategies to emerge.
After winning a contract to build Bangkok’s first public park in three decades, she created an 11-acre “thirsty” plot capable of absorbing 1 million gallons of water through a combination of sloped gardens, wetlands and a retention pond. Later this year, her firm Landprocess will open a second, 36-acre park featuring the biggest urban farming green roof in Asia.
Alongside, Voraakhom is featured in 2019, TIME 100 Next, a list from TIME Magazine —that spotlights 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of the world. She is also on the list of 15 women fighting against climate change. Voraakhom is a chairwoman on the landscape without the border of International Federation of Landscape Architects, Asia Pacific Region (IFLA APR). She is a TED Fellow, Echoing Green Climate Fellow, Atlantic Fellow. She received her master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.