Stakeholders Endorse Green-Grey Infrastructure for Building Climate Resilience in Bac Kan and Phu Ly

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At the interim workshops held on July 22 and 29 in Bac Kan and Phu Ly, respectively, project stakeholders concurred to the proposed infrastructure projects that combine green and grey engineering solutions to improve climate resilience in the two Vietnamese cities.

The workshops are part of the ongoing CDIA project preparation study (PPS) funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU). Through the PPS, CDIA aims to formulate an investment project that will help reduce flood and erosion risks, and improve water resource management in the cities. The ensuing project is pipelined for AFD funding.

“Initially, the scope of work included riverbank strengthening, weirs, dredging and drainage,” says Neil Chadder, CDIA Program Manager in charge of the PPS. “Through our various assessments and discussions with stakeholders, we came to an agreement to include landscaping works and other green approaches. This way, we will be able to capitalize on the investments in grey infrastructure to revitalize the rivers that are central to the cities of Bac Kan and Phu Ly,” he adds.

Through a highly consultative process, stakeholders were able to validate the proposed sub-project investments. For Bac Kan, these include embankment and dike works for the Cau River and stream banks that will prevent soil erosion and improve flood drainage; and weir construction to create a source for agricultural irrigation and water supply for households and industrial zones. They have also agreed to set up a drainage system along both sides of Nong Thuong and Pa Danh streams to collect household wastewater along the route; and dredging of the Cau River for a total length of 6 km.

The team of CDIA consultants further suggested landscape design ideas that seek to integrate riverfront erosion protection with urban improvement and tourism, enhance drainage for urban resilience and develop public landscape for livability, among others. They also presented various locations and scheme design options for recreation facilities like parks, bike paths, food and shopping zones and stream corridor.

For Phu Ly, the investments were for various embankment works to protect the rivers and streams in Kien Khe Town, Thanh Tuyan Ward and Phu Van Commune. CDIA experts likewise proposed integrating riverfront protection and landscape design to produce a riverfront experience and a better urban environment, creating riverfront access and recreation opportunities, improving urban resilience and livability through public landscape and creating ecological habitat through the use of natural species in landscapes. They also recommended the areas and initial scheme designs for these various green engineering solutions.

Furthermore, CDIA proposed a program of capacity building that will support the sustainable implementation and operation of the investments and the long-term goals for sustainable urban development and resilience. The implementation of the Capacity Development Roadmap that CDIA has recently prepared will be funded by the EU’s Water and Natural Resources Management Facility through a grant.

At the next phase of the PPS, CDIA experts will look closely at the prioritized projects and prepare their feasibility study and preliminary engineering design. They will likewise conduct social and environmental due diligence as well as financial and economic analysis leading to AFD loan preparation and project implementation.

“Bac Kan and Phu Ly are endowed with beautiful natural assets; yet, the same assets can bring risks during flood conditions,” says Neil. “The proposed interventions, which our partners have agreed to at the interim workshops will manage flood and erosion risks that are expected to worsen with climate change. The application of green approaches is further aligned with their vision of sustainable development and the enhancement of the rivers’ aesthetic qualities that can make the cities more livable and attractive to tourists,” he adds.

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