Civil Society with Urban Development in Vientiane City, Lao PDR

Vientiane City is the capital city of Laos since 1560. Since then, the city was transformed from a very small and quiet town center to a more sophisticated capital city as it is preparing to celebrate its 450th year anniversary in2010. The first master plan of Vientiane City had the first Master was preparedby a French consultant in 1962. At the beginning, the city was growing accordingly to the plan. However, because of the rapid growth of development as well as the expansion of civil society such as residential, commercial, religion, business and education, the city slowly became disorderly. As a result, substandard of infrastructure, a mixture of architectural styles and high density in city center started to emerge and accumulate.  

In 1982, Vientiane local authorities began to work on a new Master Plan for Vientiane City with supports from the UN Habitat. The Master Plan was declared and put inplace in 1985. From 1998-2000, the Master Plan was reviewed again with a consideration for the city expansion and strategic development plan. Nevertheless, civil society was still developing their businesses according to their own preferences and for self-benefit. Residential area was expanding beyond the Master Plan boundary; continuation of a mixture of architectural style - which was mainly based on their self preferences with a lot of influences from neighboring countries existed, high density in commercial areas and city center, as well as the encroaching of wetland and green areas continued because of the uncontrolled development. On the other hand, CivilSociety was not only creating problems in the development but it was also accelerating the positive development of the city, which was driven by its participation and contribution in the urban development projects such as roads, schools, infrastructure, sanitation and others. Moreover, Civil Society also took major part in the construction of temples in every village for worship, formation of teams to develop their own communities, development of business services and commercial sector as well as creation of social foundations for poor communities. Civil society was a major part of urban development and management in Vientiane City. This case study will try to focus on how civil society is involved in urban management and development.

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Saykham Abstract SSG09_UD.doc27 KB
Saykham_CVS with urban developmentfinal1.pdf6.09 MB