Case study visits in Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Cambodia

June 7, 2023
Event details

Location: Hanoi, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Battambang

Date: May–June 2023

Download mission report [Viet Nam]
Download mission report [LAO PDR]
Download mission report [Cambodia]
Download program flyer

Following on from our successful mission to Bangkok, Thailand, RUCaS team members visited Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Cambodia in May and June. The mission included meetings with government agencies, development partners and Gender Equity, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) stakeholders. Meetings were opportunities to explore the current issues and pressure points affecting urban development in Mekong cities, especially increased vulnerabilities created by extreme weather events (exacerbated by climate change) and wider catchment level developments. Site visits informed our understanding of case studies and allowed us to gather perspectives from local stakeholders.

International and national team members visited 5 cities in 10 days:

  • Hanoi (Viet Nam) – We visited the Hanoi University of Civil Engineering (HUCE). Working with our program partner ICEM, we’re exploring ways to address heat and flooding issues at the university campus.
  • Vientiane (Lao PDR) – We met with representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) about becoming our Focal Point Ministry for Lao PDR. We also met with GGGI and visited Nong Org wetland, a site that exemplifies how marshlands and natural drainage functions provide valuable services for local communities and the wider city.
  • Luang Prabang (Lao PDR) – We visited the city’s heritage wetland ponds and investigated how nature-based solutions can enhance and extend the value of these traditional wetland ponds, which have been degraded by siltation and grey and blackwater discharges from houses and businesses.
  • Phnom Penh (Cambodia) – We met with representatives from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) about becoming our Focal Point Ministry for Cambodia. We also met the Areiy Ksatr Municipality and toured the Areiy Ksatr development site, a new municipality and potential case study site. We discussed the masterplan process currently underway and how to incorporate water sensitive urban design principles.
  • Battambang (Cambodia) – We met with the Battambang Governor’s Office to discuss ways NbS could be utilised in the city centre, including to protect and rehabilitate a functioning wetland system around Battambang’s heritage railway station, to manage flooding and help preserve environmental and social values in and around Battambang and its historical precinct.

In each city, we also met with GEDSI stakeholders: Oxfam, Action to the Community Development Institute (ACDC), Cambodia Empowerment and Development Team (CEDT), Cambodia Children Trust (CCT), Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA) and Gender and Development Association (GDA). We learned about each group’s work and discussed how we can best incorporate inclusion principles into conceptual plans for local case studies, and from these identify opportunities to upscale for broader application throughout Mekong countries.

Meeting with Ms Nguyen Thi Lan Anh from ACDC.
HUCE Plaza heat trap and flooding spot.
Nong Org wetland, Vientiane
Field visit preparation on the Mekong River at Luang Prabang

Boeung Ra wetland, Toul Ta Ek Sangkat, Battambang


Site visit to Areiy Ksatr, Phnom Penh