Alternative Development Pathways: Examining the Da Nang Master Plan

By Thanh Ngo and Stephanie Lyons; ISET-International, Vietnam

What will happen if a city’s master plan doesn’t address flood risks in the context of climate change?  This crucial question is addressed in a Da Nang Policy brief released earlier this year by ISET-International under a project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

The policy brief, entitled “Alternative development pathways: Examining the Da Nang master plan”, explores the implications of Da Nang’s current city master plan and its focus on new and planned growth in the low-lying floodplain, and how urbanization processes have changed the nature of flooding hazards for the city. The brief notes that the plan is likely to lead to negative consequences for poor communities in low-lying areas adjacent to the new development.

Da Nang will experience an increase in flood frequency and severity due to land use, the orientation of roads, and other infrastructure that interact with heavy rainfall by blocking drainage or diverting water to locations that were previously not at risk. Based on the calculation of ARUP experts, the capacity of the Vu Gia and Thu Bon river system is 20 times lower than the capacity required to reduce the impact of potential flood events. Extreme rainfall will also increase, as climate change is likely to increase the intensity of moderate to severe rain events in and around Da Nang.

Conventional urban planning, infrastructure design and foundation standards based on historical experience will not prepare houses and infrastructure for future events and lead to more flood damage to the whole regionUrban planning decisions, based on historical experience, that increased the elevation of land for construction resulted in more flood damage to the whole region.  However, implementation of plans implementation of urban development plans in Da Nang isis still proceeding without significant modification, despite the known risks. If no action is taken, there will may be more greater economic damage and possible loss of life.

This policy brief offers informative yet valuable messages to policy makers, local governments, and relevant stakeholders on sustainable resilient development. To reduce the impacts of climate change in Da Nang, proven resilience approaches that can help protect the future urban development of Da Nang city should be found.

Read the full policy brief at www.i-s-e-t.org/publications

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