BUILDING THE CITY ON WATER

Water in the development of HCMC

Against a background of strong urban pressure, low-lying wetlands are increasingly being utilised for new urban development projects. In recent years, HCMC has implemented a large number of projects aimed at improving waterways and building new transport infrastructure. However, the development of urban areas alongside these waterways and in low-lying swampy areas has presented many new challenges, notably:

  • the need for innovative construction techniques adapted to the geology of particular sites, including the construction of underground works such as metro lines and basement parking areas;
  • the importance of defining the optimum location of coastal embankments to guard against flooding;
  • the risks of sealing the land surface during construction projects, thereby reducing soil permeability and water drainage capacity;
  • the challenges of maintaining or making adjustments to ensure a water balance after a site has been filled;
  • the need to control water pollution caused by industrial activities;
  • the high cost of filling swampy areas.
These different challenges have been instrumental in leading policymakers to tackle water-related development issues in an integrated way.

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© Photo by MAX.
Urbanisation of the Saigon River banks
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© DESO.
The central square project in Thủ Thiêm

Integrated urban ecology in Rhône-Alpes

In the Rhône-Alpes Region, the construction of new areas of the city on the banks of the river is being implemented in the context of ongoing research to minimise the impact of urbanisation on the natural environment.


Strict zoning restricts the construction and occupation of sites bordering the river and in flood plains, storm water drainage channels are enhanced, permeable construction materials are used, and trees and shrubs are replanted. All development is accompanied by a scrupulous plan.

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© Greater Lyon.
The banks of the Saône, Lyon


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