How Urban extension works under this extreme situation?
Phnom Penh is currently undergoing rapid population growth. However it is not an easy but instead a difficult task to transform a city originally designed to house only about half a million inhabitants into a city capable of holding two to three millions of inhabitant.
The major environmental constraints on the city of Phnom Penh as mentioned in the previous post are flooding and drainage. The lack of master plan and public space are also reasons that contribute much to the severe flooding situation.The State and companies are keep infilling lakes and neglected the livelihood, arrested those who are against with this proposal. However this problem has been lasting since decades ago, so what have been done in order to keep this urban extension working? What makes the city work under this extreme situation?
In the past, the city expanded due to the construction of dikes which extended away from the colonial center of the city on the banks of the Tonle Sap River. The concentric arc of each successive dike not only encircle larger, but also then become urbanised. The last diked further defines the limits of the city. At the same time, unwanted water is channeled through drains and sluices to areas outside these dikes; water accumulating along these dikes during the rainy season would be pumped out and discharged into a network of ponds and canals outside the city. It worked grudgingly to allow the urban extension in the past.
However it is impossible to use the same method of creating more concentric dikes and filling it to provide new areas for urbanisation. This is because this method of expansion required a lot of cost to operate works and will also destroy the natural drainage system remaining around the city today. It is therefore necessary to develop a new approach to the expansion of Phnom Penh which strikes a balance between the infilling for development and minimize the side effect it brings along.
1.Modern Khmer Cities, Vann Molyvann (2003)
2.City of Water. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from https://cityofwater.wordpress.com/