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From gray to green - Building a better urban climate

May 24, 2024

Billions of people in cities around the world are affected by climate change. Sustainable urban planning can help reduce risks and improve life in urban centers.


Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraarkhom demonstrates how this can be achieved. Her home city of Bangkok is suffering greatly from climate change. For years, the metropolitan region with around 15 million inhabitants has been threatened by heavy rainfall and flooding. The risk of more flooding is constantly increasing: The megacity, located just above sea level, is sinking every year. To counteract this, Kotchakorn Voraarkhom is focusing on sustainable architecture and trying to bring nature back into the concrete jungle. Her approach is groundbreaking and has set an example for other regions. Georg Hofer, a pioneer of natural building materials, hails from Lower Bavaria. In times of climate change, he has turned to a centuries-old building material: clay. The list of clay‘s positive properties is long. Clay requires little energy to produce, produces hardly any CO2 and is free of pollutants. Used as a building material, clay can also regulate the temperature. In extreme heat, clay houses stay cool, while in winter clay houses benefit from a robust heat storage capacity.