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Vang Vieng Town and Environs Masterplan, Laos

A master plan project focused on maintaining the natural/ecological, scenic, cultural and recreational features of a Laos tourism hub in the face of future development.

Vang Vieng Town is strategically located between the National Capital Vientiane and the popular UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Luang Prabang. The town attracts large numbers of domestic and international tourists who come to enjoy the town’s natural/ecological, scenic, cultural and recreational features. However, the development pressures triggered by the growing popularity of the town as a tourist destination are creating adverse impacts on the character and environmental qualities of the town, as well as placing existing urban infrastructure under stress.

hansen was engaged by the Lao Tourism Administration Office to prepare a master plan for the town to ensure that its intrinsic qualities and features – which are much valued by the local community – were not undermined by future growth and development.

The master plan established a clear vision for the future growth of Vang Vieng based on extensive fieldwork, consultation with key stakeholders including community workshops, and a sound appreciation of the development opportunities and challenges facing the town now and in the years ahead.

The master plan addressed four key themes of change:

  1. town character
  2. urban growth
  3. environment
  4. tourism

Within this context, the plan provided an implementation program inclusive of costings, as well as planning and urban design guidelines to assist the local authorities in administering the plan.

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