The Unusual Football Field
AP (Thailand) Public Company Limited
“The unusual football field project fundamentally raised public awareness of how a good space design can influence people’s lives and create positive impact to the community as a whole.”
INTRODUCTIONThe core of AP CSR strategy is dedicated to the development of people, not limited to its internal human resources, but also considering human resources of the nation. The company believes that investing in people is the most sustainable path of development for Thailand. In the past years, AP has conducted many CSR programs involving knowledge sharing and internship for university students. But uniquely as a real estate developer, AP always looks to contribute to society in a unique and constructive way. We want to transfer our expertise in construction, property management, and innovations in space utilization design to the public.
This year, we lent our expertise in space design to the most in-need group of people in society: underprivileged children. In Bangkok, there are poor and clustered neighborhoods where thousands of families reside crammed wall-to-wall. Good public spaces are much needed, and have the potential to create tremendous positive effect in the community.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYAP Thailand wanted to inspire people in the society to realize the importance of space, and how good space can shape people’s lives. We initially focused on Klongtoey Community area, where public space is rare and inadequate. After a survey, we found small plots of overlooked and under-utilized space scattered in the community, mostly filled with trash.
To arrive at a solution, we first studied the needs of the community. We found that children and teenagers made up a large segment of population. Parents of these children also have pressing concerns of their children getting involved in misbehavior and drugs. We thought football would be the best solution. Football is a universal language, unites people, and requires no expensive gear or equipment. We did not see the shape and form of the plots of land, which were not perfect rectangles for building sports facilities as obstacles. Instead, we chose to utilize every precious available space by designing the most optimal forms that would allow fair play for the competing teams. We took every care not to interfere with the community’s daily lives while creating public spaces that are useful to the community residents. In spite of many physical challenges, we also developed outdoor fitness equipment, so that the football fields become places for multi-generations.
Our aim is to create a ripple effect and inspire both the public and private sectors to focus on turning their expertise to contribute to the society. With our principle to emphasize on human development, we believe that providing a useful and creative public space helps the community obtain a better quality of life.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTTo date, we have completed 3 football pitches in Bangkok and are exploring feasibility of other locations. The project was universally loved by the people and press. It was featured in BBC, CCTV, NHK, ABC News, and many more. We believe it is because sport is universal and relatable by all. The concept can be applied to many other developments and has a strong potential to benefit communities worldwide. Moreover, the project was chosen by TIME as one of the best 25 inventions of 2016 worldwide. The criteria of the award was simple yet meaningful; the invention must make the world better. Earlier this year, the project won the Archmarathon Selections @ MADE expo in Milan for the Sport & Wellness category, where architectural projects from all over the world competed for the prize awarded by a prestigious panel of judges.
More importantly, through various local and international press coverage, AP Thailand, as one socially responsible property developer successfully create public awareness and inspired other sectors to pay attention to the development of public space. We hope to continuously drive the society forward in the best way we can.
FUTURE DIRECTIONWith our commitment to developing people both within the company and in society at large, we will develop a sustainable strategic plan for our CSR activities. It is important that we use our best expertise to contribute to society and create a social impact. The focus will always be “people”, as we strongly believe that quality human asset is key to developing a sustainable society.
AP (Thailand) Public Company Limited (“AP”) was established in 1991 and quickly became a leader in Thailand’s residential development industry. For 25 years, the company has contributed to the urbanization of Bangkok, having developed over 200 residential projects including single-detached houses, townhouses, and condominiums. AP Thailand is known for placing its projects in exceptional locations, arising from a deep understanding of what constitutes a promising neighborhood.