BMBF Adapting HoChiMinh City for Climate Change

BMBF-Programme 'Research for the Sustainable Development of the Megacities of Tomorrow- Energy- and Cimate Efficient Structures in Urban Growth Centres'

Megacity Research Project TP. Ho Chi Minh
Integrative Urban and Environmental Planning Framework
Adaptation to Climate Change

The thematic focus of the research project is the adaptation of urban land, urban structures and urban development concepts to foreseeable climate changes as well as to weather extremes whose intensity is increasing, with the goal of minimizing or avoiding severe impacts of climate change in the future and which are already perceptible today.

All global comparative country studies list Vietnam as a country which will be extremely vulnerable to climate change in the future because of its topography. The metropolises and economic centers of the country in the two delta regions Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are particularly affected. The research project will concentrate on the mega-urban region in the southern part of the country. Even today, HCMC has to struggle with climate-related problems whose impacts are brought about or intensified by flaws in managing rapid urban growth, in spatial urban planning and in urban infrastructure management. Against the background of climate change, it is necessary to carry out a well-founded examination of the consequences for urban development as well as substantial countermeasures on all levels of current urban development planning. In particular the predicted rise in sea level can lead to a new dynamics in the development of the settlement structure in the medium to long term for which the current system of planning, guiding and implementing urban development is not prepared. The overall goal of the research project is to develop science-based strategies for adapting to climate change.

The research approach is based on two central action fields: (1) The action field Urban Environment will evaluate the local impacts of climate change as well as their spatial manifestation in the urban region of HCMC. (2) The action field Urban Development will develop strategies for adapting the urban built environment. The central elements of the method to be applied in the first action field are a system of indicators and a spatial information system which is to permit adaptation of methods of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to the evaluation of impacts of climate change in the urban environment.

The goal is to develop concrete recommendations for spatial planning to achieve the required strategies for adaptation of urban development processes, and to compare them with one another. For this purpose, the effects of climate change already experienced today and the topics at the center of the research project – urban growth and urban regeneration – will be placed in close relation to each other. The action field Urban Development will develop urban planning strategies for the levels ranging from the region to the individual building, with a focus on recommendations for the neighborhood level. Both action fields will have institutional ties with the relevant administrative structures as well as HCMC's research landscape. The relevant research results will be integrated in a comprehensive process of information, discussion and further education via the existing – and substantially expanded – network of important actors and experts at the national, urban and neighborhood levels. The research concept is also integrated, via the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in Hanoi, in the international research network for adaptation to climate change in Vietnam, as it is the first project to study the complex problems in high-density urban centers.

Funding Institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Programme: "Research for the Sustainable Development of the Megacities of Tomorrow - Energy- and Climate Efficient Structures in Urban Growth Centres"

Duration: from 07/2008 until 06/2013

Project Coordination:
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. (NMU Dnepropetrovsk) Michael Schmidt,
BTU Cottbus - Department of Environmental Planning

AF 1 - Urban Environment - Coordination:
Dr. Harry Storch,
BTU Cottbus - Department of Environmental Planning

AF 2 - Urban Development - Coordination:
Visting Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Frank Schwartze,
BTU Cottbus - Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Design


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