Dalat Urban Design Framework, Vietnam

Hansen was invited in mid-2004 to work collaboratively with the National Institute for Urban and Rural Planning (NIURP) on the preparation of an urban design framework Plan for Dalat, a regional city and popular tourist destination in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, approximately 300 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City.

The primary aim of this project was the establishment of a pedestrian only precinct within the centre of Dalat (termed ‘Dalat Walking Centre’ by the locals), as an urban intervention designed to enhance the city’s appeal as a tourist destination, improve pedestrian and traffic management, and substantially upgrade the public domain.

The combined team identified the opportunities and constraints affecting development within the study area, developed a series of key urban design principles and importantly, developed an ‘urban design vision’ for the future development of the study area which sought to define desirable outcomes without resorting to an elaborately detailed and inflexible masterplan.

The urban design framework plan identified eleven individual ‘action areas’ within the overall study area. These action areas were identified on the basis of their urban character or particular urban qualities, and were seen as priority areas for urban improvement as a means of stimulating development and investment in the city.