Reading the Rooftop Agricultural Landscape in the Governmental Organizations: The Case of One Local Government Office in Bangkok Metropolitan Region

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Thamniap Urankul
Cuttaleeya Jiraprasertkun


Landscape is a language. “Reading” landscape enhances the understanding of its profound meanings. In addition, it benefits the “writing” or changing (Shaping) the landscape more contextually yielding the “narrative” which creates meaning of landscape for human and society to remember and imagine. This research article focuses on the “reading” of agricultural rooftop garden and its characteristics in a local government office. This landscape is fascinating to study for three reasons: 1) Location, it is an agricultural garden located on the roof of a district office. 2) Situation, it relates to today urban problems such as food security, the lacking of green space in the city, etc., and 3) The role of the garden which has created a corporate image. Hence, this study is a qualitative case study research using interpretative approach and grounded theory with the “reading” of landscape through the view of “place”. The methods include field survey, semi-structure interview of key persons, participation observation, and online search. Triangulation is conducted for data reliability.

The results show that the Thai characteristics of the governmental organization contribute to the understanding of landscape in that organization. Such understanding explains why physical settings, activities, values and meanings of the garden have been modified to the “formalized” image. The formality of the landscape benefits staffs in various levels, from operational to executives, to produce the so-called “work benefits”. Furthermore, the results also lead to the understanding that the garden can create benefits to all parties only if the “formality” image has been loosely constructed and formed, yet it is actually open for staffs in different levels to adapt or change its “contents” according to the situation of the organization. Such condition would allow related staffs to participate as well as negotiate the benefits from their involvement. This conclusion contributes a lesson learnt that the separation of structure and contents, or in the other words splitting regulations from real practice, becomes the key for the continuity of this garden till the present day in specific and unique characters.


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