The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Vietnam Institute for Urban-Rural Planning (VIUP) under the Ministry of Construction jointly held a workshop today to showcase a new urban planning tool that protects communities and critical infrastructure from the impacts of climate change.
As the climate continues to change, Vietnam is increasingly at risk for flooding, extreme heat and sea level rise. These disasters can disrupt homes, businesses and agriculture, impacting the livelihoods of many Vietnamese. Developed to help reduce disaster risks, the Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST) can project climate change impacts and suggest ways that urban planning can be used to adapt. By bringing together information about the impacts of climate change—information that is typically found in multiple places and is hard for non-scientists to interpret—into one place, the tool helps cities avoid infrastructure development in most at-risk areas and make better decisions about which areas are safe to develop more intensively as the population grows.
“By integrating climate change into the urban planning process, Vietnam will be able to influence how cities develop and ultimately create resilient communities that are better protected from the impacts of climate change,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker.
With USAID’s support, the tool was customized for the flood-prone city of Hue, which allowed the Hue Planning Institute to develop three new climate-resilient urban master plans for the city. With information about how climate change will affect the severity and frequency of flooding, and which sites will be most vulnerable, city officials are now able to decide which parts of the city and surrounding areas are safe to develop. The tool is currently being deployed in Can Tho and Ba Ria – Vung Tau and following the workshop, it is expected to be rolled out throughout all 63 provinces and cities of the country.
Attending the workshop today were representatives from local and national universities, professional organizations, and government, as well as from research institutions and international donor agencies. The participants were given a tutorial on how to use the tool, explored case study examples from current CIMPACT-DST pilot users, and engaged in discussions on the future deployment and application of the tool in Vietnam’s urban planning.
USAID has identified Vietnam as a priority country for climate change assistance. USAID’s climate change initiatives in Vietnam follow the framework provided in the USAID’s Global Climate Change and Development Strategy, released in January 2012. To learn more about USAID’s climate change assistance in Vietnam, visit http://www.usaid.gov/vietnam/global-climate-change.