First Advisor

Connie Ozawa

Date of Publication

Spring 7-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban Studies (M.U.S.)


Urban Studies and Planning




Public investments -- Vietnam -- Case studies, Climate change mitigation -- Vietnam, Environmental policy -- Vietnam



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 106 pages)


This thesis explores 1) the ways that three Vietnamese infrastructure development projects undermine their cities' climate change adaptation goals and 2) the political and economic forces driving these developments. In-depth interviews highlight four main perspectives of planners and decision makers, which explain why these infrastructure projects often undermine cities' climate resilience goals. I describe how the mainstream climate change adaptation planning approach, with its emphasis on participatory planning, good governance and green growth, implicitly reinforces the neoliberal growth model, even as it seeks to ameliorate the inequality and ecological destruction that such a growth model creates. My research reveals how Vietnam's growth-first economic model and its dependence on international finance means that its climate adaptation priorities are increasingly shaped by the interests of financial institutions, and not necessarily the public interest. I argue that even if the strategies proposed by Vietnamese planners and climate adaptation practitioners are adopted, maladaptive projects will continue in Vietnam, unless the underlying economic growth imperative is addressed.


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