Sceptics may question climate change, but in Bangkok, the impacts are already being felt—and are undeniable. Rainy season used to be as predictable as the bountiful rice crop, showering Thai fields like clockwork from mid-April into October, when the weather abruptly flips and it becomes bone-dry for six months. In recent years, though, rain has fallen unpredictably, causing flooding, damaging agriculture, destroying livelihoods, and threatening millions of people.
Meanwhile, temperatures are on the rise, and rapid urbanisation—combined with severe land subsidence—has put Bangkok on the watch list of the most vulnerable cities in Southeast Asia. However, events have focused attention, and some action, on the urgency of the problems. After a devastating flood early this decade, Bangkok launched numerous government-backed plans to address ecological issues and enlisted an array of international partners. Bangkok joined the 100 Resilient Cities project, which was established and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and helps cities around the globe prepare for the myriad ecological and economic challenges of the 21st century.