Ho Chi Minh City moving towards the sea

Ho Chin Minh City moving towards the sea with Climate Change Adaptation

Posted on 1 September 2011

Ho Chi Minh City moving towards the sea

Under the auspices of Grontmij, and in collaboration with the municipality of Rotterdam, the Vietnam Climate Adaptation Partnership (VCAPS) is to contribute to Ho Chi Minh City’s Climate Adaptation Strategy. An important focus will be the port’s relocation from the city towards the sea. VCAPS is led by Grontmij Netherlands and further comprises of Witteveen+Bos, Bosch Slabbers landscape architects, Ecorys, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) and Urban Solutions.


The project goal is to develop a Climate Adaptation Strategy that is able to guide the long-term sustainable socio-economic development of Ho Chi Minh City towards the sea, taking into account the effects of climate change. The project will result in concrete recommendations for the development of the city on the short-term, mid-term and long-term. In addition the project aims to increase the capacity of staff of the departments of the HCMC administration involved through training.


  • Atlas, as a reference for rational strategic planning
  • Agenda, connecting issues of all stakeholders
  • Application rules, securing implementation of the agenda


Currently the inhabitants of Ho Chi Minh City have to cope with regular flooding due to heavy rainfall and high tides. Damage to infrastructure and property, water pollution and traffic jams are all consequences of these floods. Building in high densities and lack of green areas have lead to a considerably higher temperature in the city, affecting health and the quality of living.

If no action is taken, Climate Change and land subsidence, combined with changes in landuse will increase these problems considerably. the project aims to assist the Peoples Commitee of Ho Chi Minh city to deal with these challenges.

Technologies used

A method applied in the project is the charrette. A Charrette is an intensive workshop of 2 or 3 days, aiming at finding connections with all stakeholders between sectoral issues and interests, leading to integrated ambitions and a joint agenda. The Charrette has the character of a pressure cooker. At the end of the Charrette, the result has to be presented to high level officials of e.g. the Steering Committee.

During the Charrette, the Esperanto is used that is understood by water managers, spatial planners and politicians all over the world: visualisation. Visualisation bridges all misunderstandings that arise in texts and words. Drawing leads to new ideas and an atmosphere of ‘yes, we can’, rather than ‘no you can’t’. This results in full use of local knowledge, emphasis on real urgencies and creative synergy from the start.

Project location

Project partners

  • Bosch Slabbers landscape + urban design
  • Ecorys
  • Sweco Nederland
  • Witteveen+Bos