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A workshop on climate change resilient architecture and landscape was held in Son La and Hanoi, Vietnam, from April 1 to 18. It involved 50 students from Hanoi Architecture University’s French-speaking departments in the framework of a new partnership between AFD and the university. The outcomes were presented on April 18 at the French Institute in Hanoi.

The city of Son La is facing drainage regulation problems and a lack of development of public green spaces and water use. Currently, urban development has encroached on residential areas and urban areas, affecting the inhabitants’ quality of life. City authorities want sustainable and inclusive urban planning practices to protect, improve and develop urban public spaces

Innovate for a resilient architecture

The objective of this workshop was to involve students to come up with ideas to improve the design of landscapes and architecture. The students carried out two weeks of intensive fieldwork in Son La, and worked on a range of issues from floodwater storage and urban lakes to parks and development of the city’s green and blue infrastructure. 

The architecture and landscape students presented their final propositions in mid April to representatives from Son La city, the French Embassy in Vietnam, the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, Hanoi Architecture University and AFD. The event concluded with the opening of the exhibition of sketches on Son La landscape identity, made by the Fine Arts students also involved in the workshop. 

Their propositions touched on issues of water quality and access, biodiversity protection, water management and flood prevention. 

From the idea…to the project

This workshop takes place as part of a flood prevention and resilient urban development project prepared by AFD and the People's Committee of Son La province. The province could receive funding from AFD’s loan for infrastructural development, as well as a grant from the EU for technical assistance through the WARM Facility. The outcomes of the workshop will contribute to the project preparation, and feed the discussion between AFD and the People’s Committee of Son La.

“I am delighted with the results of this workshop,” said Hervé CONAN, AFD’s Director in Vietnam. “It has generated new and creative ideas, providing Son La Province and residents with different perspectives not only on the city and its surroundings, but also on the different approaches to development that enhance the city’s potential. I hope these proposals will continue to be useful.” 

About the WARM facility 

The overall objective of the Water and Natural Resources Management Facility, financed by the European Union, is to improve the resilience of communities to water-related hazards through more resilient cities and territories to climate change and natural hazards, improved and integrated water management and/or integrated coastal zone management.

In coordination with Vietnamese central and local authorities, AFD mobilizes the WARM Facility €20M to prepare water infrastructure investment in response to key local challenges such as flooding and coastal erosion, exacerbated by climate change. In addition, the experience gained from these projects will help strengthen the policy dialogue with Vietnamese authorities on climate, the environment and natural resource management.