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Water sensitive urban design: Addressing flooding resilience in Ho Chi Minh City
1  Universität Duisburg-Essen


Events related to water systems such as flooding are often evident consequences of inadequate land use and changes in climate that are altering the natural water cycle and are already compromising human health and amenity for urban dwellers. Hereby, transitions to more sustainable ways of water management have been recognized as urgent shifts to achieve necessary resilience in cities. Current discussions point out that approaches that integrate water management into urban development and urban design such as Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) are powerful strategies to support the sustainability of cities. They have the potential to ensure water resilience and also to improve quality of life in urban areas. Due to insufficient planning practices and policies to protect permeable areas and natural resources, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (HCMC) becomes one of the ten top cities worldwide with higher risks for population and infrastructure over flooding events (World bank, 2010). Great part of the city suffers frequent flooding events and severe disruption on built infrastructure and people’s wellbeing (Storch 2002). It shows the urgency in developing integrated planning strategies and policies that that are robust enough to protect the city against flooding risks and improve quality of life in urban areas. The central question that this research aims to investigate is in how far more integrative approaches in water management have the potential to address uncertainty regarding flood risks in HCMC while at the same time, improve quality of life in the urban area. This study is applied to a housing settlement in HCMC and evaluates morphological data by qualitative methods combined with quantitative assessments of flood extends. The expected outcome is to orient the city to adopt more integrative planning practices and policy recommendation for land use control based on water sensitive urban design (WSUD) indicators.

Keywords: Flood resilience; water sensitive urban design; climate change; urban flooding