Vietnam is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a population of about 95 million, living in an area of only 331,221 km2. In addition, with an urbanisation rate of 3.4% per year, Vietnam is undergoing a fast-moving urbanisation process, affecting besides Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also secondary cities such as Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, and Hue. The current share of urban population of over 30% across the nation will grow to a share of over 50% by 2025 (Anh et al. 2013). Moreover, Vietnam is one of the countries hit hardest by climate change impacts (Kreft et al. 2015). Due to its exposed geographical location, Central Vietnam, where the city of Hue is located, suffers regularly from storms, heavy rainfall events and extreme heat waves (UNDP 2008). The outcome of such extreme weather events are often heavy infrastructure damages and casualties (Dang et al. 2016). A strategy is needed to develop Vietnam’s cities in a sustainable and climate resilient manner. However, coherent proactive urban development plans for Vietnamese cities, that consider the urbanisation processes and climate change impacts, are currently missing.
In the Central Vietnamese city of Hue a step in this direction was taken with the Hue GrEEEn City Action Plan, developed by the Asian Development Bank. Although it includes actions on blue infrastructure or GBI, e.g. the rehabilitation of ponds and canals as well as the introduction and promotion of low impact development (ADB 2015), a more holistic picture of GBI, which takes the Greater Hue area and climate change mitigation and adaptation into account, is missing.
Its prominent position as official ‘grade 1 – top priority city’ within the Vietnamese Government’s city rating system and its outstanding historic and educational importance give the city of Hue the status of a role model for the more than 65 other provincial capital cities. The combination of its high exposure to climate change impacts, its relatively young and well-educated population, and its touristic importance make Hue an ideal location for an Urban Learning Lab (ULL) for innovative, participatory and thus suitable concepts of GBI and urban climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Green-blue infrastructure in Hue
Anh, T. T., Phong, T. V. G., Tuan, T. H., & Mulenga, M. (2013): Community consultation for long-term climate-resilient housing in Vietnamese cities: a comparative case study between Hue and Da Nang. Asian Cities Climate Resilience, IIED.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2015): Hue GrEEEn City Action Plan: Main report. Online: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/179170/hue-greeen-city-ap.pdf.
Dang, T. N., Seposo, X. T., Duc, N. H. C., Thang, T. B., An, D. D., Hang, L. T. M., & Honda, Y. (2016): Characterizing the relationship between temperature and mortality in tropical and subtropical cities: a distributed lag non-linear model analysis in Hue, Viet Nam, 2009–2013. Global health action, 9(1), 28738.
Kreft, S., Eckstein, D., Junghans, L., Kerestan, C. and Hagen, U. (2015): Global Climate Risk Index 2015. Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Briefing Paper. Germanwatch 2015.
UNDP (2008): Climate Change and Human Development in Vietnam, UNDP Human Development report 2007/2008. Online: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/chaudhry_peter_and_ruysschaert_greet.pdf.
The aim of the project GreenCityLabHue is to create a multi-level, multi-disciplinary space for research and experimentation to develop, visualize, evaluate and discuss ideas and concepts for the (re-)creation and expansion of GBI in the city of Hue, Central Vietnam. In cooperation with stakeholders from science, administration, politics and the civil society, and under consideration of existing urban development plans, the project consortium develops shared expertise, common concepts and a database to facilitate the coordinated, strategic development of a network of (semi-)natural areas across the city of Hue. Integrating NBS and GBI into Hue’s city planning may help to protect various ecosystem services, thereby increasing the social and ecological resilience of the city of Hue and its surrounding region, e.g., regarding climate change impacts. The project explicitly aims at:
- acquiring and providing information on existing and potential GBI
- developing land use scenarios based on narratives and visions of stakeholders,
- supporting participatory processes, capacity-building, co-learning and co-creation,
- inspiring other Vietnamese cities to improve climate resilience, and
- providing the basis for the subsequent research and development project.
Structure & Tasks
The collaborative project is divided into seven work packages (WP). All WPs are content-related, interlinked operatively, in constant exchange and contribute to the development of the ‘Green City Lab’ and the basis for the subsequent research and development project. The different WPs are focusing on the following subjects:
- WP1: Analysis of the status quo of GBI in Hue by carrying out a desk research, conducting stakeholder interviews and an inventory of natural urban spaces that have a potential for GBI and ecosystem services and its assessment using GIS data classification.
- WP2: Development of stakeholder-based narratives and visions in a stakeholder workshop and their subsequent translation into computational rules (codes) for modelling land use change in GIS.
- WP3: Modelling land use change scenarios based on the narratives by simulating land use changes of a test case scenario using (i) a multilayer GIS model and (ii) a cellular automaton model in the definition phase, mapping future land use change or persistency, and quantifying selected ecosystem services provided by GBI.
- WP 4: Creation of a public information and learning space (Green City Lab) and the GreenCityLabHue project website that will serve as a learning and information space and as main tool for the external project communication, both in Germany and Vietnam.
- WP5: Preparation of the project application for the main research project (R&D phase), by identifying key research questions and developing an implementation plan for the main project (R&D phase).
- WP6: Presentation and reporting of project results at the closing event in Hue and by producing a trilingual final project report.
- WP7: Project Management, administration and communication