WATERPOLIS

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM | FIELD WORK | SPRING 2013

Field Researcher 


CA MAU,VIETNAM | FIELD WORK | SPRING 2013

Field Researcher 

CA MAU,VIETNAM | INDUSTRIAL ZONES & PETRO VIETNAM MAP | SPRING 2013

Researcher | Map Designer  

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WATERPOLIS | WATER METRO| SPRING 2013

Researcher | Transportation Lead Designer

Description | Landscape Urbanism: Back from Planning to Planting Studio. This Water Transportation system is an ecological alternative to the road. This system Improving accessibility for all inhabitants and eases water traffic congestion. This transportation system will stimulate economic development through job creation.


WATERPOLIS | FINAL STUDIO DESIGNS | SPRING 2013

Waterpolis | Landscape Urbanism: Back from Planning to Planting Studio 

Researcher | Design Team Collaborator

Waterpolis group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium - (Joy Alise Davis worked on M scale)

Description  | Landscape Urbanism studio focused on Water as infrastructure in Ca Mau, Vietnam. 2015 Master Plan  The Waterpolis group focuses on three scales, community (S scale) city (M scale) and peninsula (XL scale) . 

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Waterpolis  | Community (S scale) Urban and production: Living + producing in the delta.

Landscape Urbanism | Back from Planning to Planting Studio 

Group Assignment Design by Waterpolis group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium 

Description | Landscape Urbanism studio focused on Water as infrastructure in Ca Mau, Vietnam.  This is the landscape urbanism vision for 2025.

1. The decentralized development plan for Ca Mau is realized through a number of strategic interventions:

2.  The central productive landscape, an optimization of the agriculture/ aquaculture plot structure towards more sustainable production modes will lead to a diversification of the productive landscape. In order to protect it from future urban sprawl, a raised walkway is placed and acts as a physical and mental frontier. In strategic places, the walkway expands in multifunctional civic platforms and structure of the development around the river edges. The urban plots alternate and create a rhythm of built and open space that along with the constructed pathway, serves as a soft connection among the new and existing urban tissue. The productive landscape is both protected and showcased as the heart of the city.

Potential development will be concentrated along the north-south waterlines paralleled with roads. Integrating wastewater treatment and rainwater collecting facilities/amenities at community level, the new urbanization structure articulates the transversal (visual and physical) connection between the river, the road and the landscape.

3. A series of platforms, strategically located at the intersection of the road and water axes, operate as starting point for urbanization, while the rest of the edge can be gradually developed with industries and mixed-use developments.

These strategic projects intend to sustain and combine the unique qualities of the region and illustrate the future image of Ca Mau city.


Waterpolis | City (M Scale) Embracing [water + people + production]

Group Design | Waterpolis group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (Joy worked on this scale in detail)  

Description  | Landscape Urbanism studio focused on Water as infrastructure in Ca Mau, Vietnam.  This is the landscape urbanism vision for 2025. 

Ca Mau is a growing city in the confluence of distinctive waterways caught up not only in its daily eddies+flows and seasonal rhythms but also of the waters’ deepening threats.  Challenges identified are not only with water issues like fresh water shortage and pollution, but also with the expansion

of the city itself.  Proposals on city-scale must address doubling or more of the inhabitants, most effective use of water as main transport substitute to roadways and optimal application of aquaculture.

One major consequence from the territorial strategies is the redistribution of city dynamics, in effect decentralizing spatial and functional features.  This is made possible by a trio of steps, which eventually frame the urban development of the city as it embraces its natural setting, economic livelihood and its growing population.

1.     Potential requalification of Ca Mau town:  By highlighting the accessibility to the water, both visual and mental, potential public spaces along the waterfront are redefined.  This decongests the urban fabric, and enables the water to be the front-side once again. These reclaimed spaces are multi-functional; in that water metro stops for collective transport are also community rainwater collectors or hawkers’ markets.  Or urban parks that are pockets for seasonal flooding planted with restorative vegetation to constantly cleanse the water.

2.     New East-west economic corridor: Existing waterlines in the south of the city are traced and dredged to serve as the main industrial link to international seaports, thus effectively freeing the old city from shipping traffic and pollution. At the same time, this waterline is bordered by constructed wetlands and mangrove forests, which stem from the territorial strategy of protecting the city. This line will also support platforms sustaining different types of development that will contribute to the city. Medium-scale facilities that support the shrimp-farming industry, its research and development is one example.  

3.     Enhanced productive landscape: Embraced by the existing town and the new economic corridor, the central agri/aqua-culture belt is highlighted.  This is the heart of the project that exemplifies a high quality form of aqua/agriculture. Walkable, public platforms connect the inhabitants directly to the productive landscape, thus linking the old and new towns. This lattice-like system of blue and green is the natural setting wherein the city can reach its maximum potential as a major economic force in the industry. 

With this strategic vision of decentralisation and redistribution of functions


Waterpolis  | Peninsula  (XL scale) Cultivating waterscape

Landscape Urbanism | Back from Planning to Planting Studio 

Group Design | Waterpolis group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium 

Description  | Landscape Urbanism studio focused on Water as infrastructure in Ca Mau, Vietnam.  This is the landscape urbanism vision for 2025.

Located in southern most part of the Mekong Delta, Ca Mau is the interface between the land and water-based territories of Vietnam. Its extreme position results in challenges related to salinity intrusion, fresh water scarcity, seasonal flooding due to the rising tide. At the same time, Ca Mau is also the heart of the shrimp and rice cultivation and is fast industrializing. Site-specific strategies are adopted to adapt to these challenges while bringing together the ecological and economic interconnection with productive landscape.

In terms of water supply, the historical fresh water irrigation and distribution system from the Quan Lo PhungHiep Canal is increasingly affected by pollution and upstream control of the Mekong river (e.g. Chinese dams). A water reservoir system becomes therefore necessary to meet Ca Mau’s growing needs for agriculture and civil purposes, as well as to regulate the seasonal variations of flows. The new system relies on multiple reservoirs on different scales (large for agriculture, medium for city provision and small for communities). Along with a stable system of sluices, the new system reclaims and re-qualifies existing landscape features, such as depressed land, disconnected river branches and underused space inside housing blocks.

In terms of the (threatening) estuarine dynamics, a series of transversal mangroves strips are planted across the tidal flood plain. While improving the productive aquaculture (filter the nitrogen waste generated from the shrimp ponds), the new mangrove structure slows down the tidal flows, lessens the flooding impacts, captures and fixes sediments, gradually forming a natural shield for the city.

In terms of water transport at last, Ca Mau can be seen as a bottleneck due the limited capacity of the canal and river system across the city. Upgrading existing Ganh Hao port and establishing a new east-west economic corridor to the south will boost water transport between existing and new port terminals and create a new engine for regional development. Fitting into one of the mangrove transversal filters, the new economic corridor is structured by new hybrid clusters of processing industries and autonomous residential developments (own water storing and cleaning system).