29 October 2018, Bangkok - Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC), MQDC's research arm, has teamed up with Charoen Pokphand Seeds (CPS) to develop green technologies for cities, a field the organizations call urbanical (urban + botanical).
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at RISC's headquarters at Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard (MRB), RISC and CPS will research plants and develop technologies for green façades, green roofs, vertical gardens, and interiorscapes.
MQDC will provide research testbeds at developments including The Forestias, a 119-acre wooded residential district at Bangna.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Singh Intrachooto, Chief Advisor to RISC, said the collaboration was based on the conviction that human well-bring requires healthy ecosystems.
"Indoor and outdoor plants offer a host of benefits to people in cities, from providing the psychological boost of biophilic design to removing air pollutants and countering the urban heat island effect," he said.
"For all these reasons, we are eager to help develop urban green spaces under our strategy of 'sustainnovation'. But for RISC, founded on the commitment 'for all well-being', it is also axiomatic that human well-being is inseparable from the well-being of the rest of nature, whether plant, animal, or insect. Bringing nature into the city is therefore at the heart of our mission."
RISC will contribute facilities including the plant lab in its Inspiration Hall at its publicly accessible headquarters at MRB in central Bangkok. CPS will bring its experience in developing plant varieties.
CPS sees urban plant life as a relatively neglected area of research, said Mr Khunsri Thongyoi, CEO of Charoen Pokphand's Crop Integration Business Group.
"CPS is excited to be combining its expertise in plants with RISC's in well-being to help transform cities," said Mr Khunsri.
"Tremendous resources have been invested into finding or breeding the ideal crop for each environment, sparking incredible advances in yields. Plants in cities are, in comparison, overlooked. But similar breakthroughs await. We are just at the start of developing technologies that can bring plants back into everyday life even in a city like Bangkok, with only 3.3 meters of green space for each inhabitant."
The collaboration will initially address the 'urbanical' potential of MQDC projects, looking to add or enhance green spaces. Early goals include optimizing new soilless indoor planting systems and identifying the best outdoor species to reduce pollution and counter the urban heat island effect. RISC will share the ongoing project's findings with the wider property sector through exhibits, seminars, and lectures.