Alternative Development Pathways: Examining the Da Nang Master Plan (Policy Brief)

Authors: Phong Tran; Tuan Tran

Da Nang, located along the central Vietnamese coast, is experiencing rapid development in response to a growing population and diversifying economy. Much of the new and planned growth, as outlined in the city master plan, is in the low-lying floodplain to the south of the city center. This is changing the nature of flooding hazards for the city. As urbanization accelerates, so too will the changes in flood hazards and their potential to affect all residents, infrastructure, and economic activities located in lower lying areas. Current flooding is often triggered by rainfall events associated with the seasonal monsoon or typhoons either in the city or upstream of the city. Storm surges and high tides during rain events can exacerbate flooding. Climate change will increase sea levels and likely alter the intensity of rainfall events that contribute to Da Nang’s flooding. To allow for an increase in the intensity of extreme events, which is likely to occur in the next 40–50 years, Da Nang city must plan a variety of measures to accommodate high water levels and to avoid making these problems worse. A city with increased flood risks through poor planning and misguided urban development will quickly lose its reputation as a “green city”.


Tran, P., & Tran, T. (2013). Alternative development pathways: Examining the Da Nang Master Plan. Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International. 

Funded By:

The Rockefeller Foundation


PO Box 20321

Boulder, Colorado 80308 USA

Phone 303-656-9609


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