Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department

Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

In recent years, the integrity of the Mekong Delta has been put at risk by a combination of environmental and institutional factors. Understanding that the degradation of the Delta would have far-reaching socioeconomic implications for both Vietnam and the Indochinese Peninsula, The World Bank has responded to the situation by implementing initiatives for climate-smart planning tools and improved water management practices throughout the lower Mekong basin. Seeing the potential for tangible modeling as a participatory planning tool, the Bank has hired a team of consultants from Louisiana State University to introduce a methodology called Tangible Landscape to its climate resilience toolkit. This thesis aims to contribute to the consultancy by using literature review, interpretive case studies in a design approach called tactical ruralism, and geospatial analysis to inform the design and fabrication of a conceptual Tangible Landscape model for the Mekong Delta. The author identifies the environmental problems facing the delta, compiles an array of relevant design solutions that can be used to address those problems at the site scale, and creates a series of mappings that identify suitable sites to apply those solutions. He also develops a conceptual transect of rural livelihoods of the Mekong Delta which can be used to inform a forthcoming Tangible Landscape workshop to be held in Viet Nam as part of the World Bank Consultancy. Providing solutions at every scale and level of governance is of particular importance to this project, especially those considered to be “grassroots” or “bottom-up” interventions implemented by individual households, communes, wards, and districts.

Committee Chair

Brendan Harmon

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