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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development


The incredible urban growth of Ho Chi Minh City has prompted urban expansion into the newly developed District 7. The Phu My Hung urban area is an attempt to create a parallel city to Ho Chi Minh City along the guidelines of master plans submitted in 1993 by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill; Kenzo Tange Associates; and Koetter Kim & Associates. The final master plan for the area incorporates elements of sustainable development, walkability, heightened connectivity, and connection with nature. Twenty years after the onset of the Phu My Hung urban area creation and, specifically, Saigon South conception, this paper is an attempt to examine the motivations and effects of urban and architectural design in the area. This paper studies the habits and customs formed by the residents of Saigon South as well as the environmental impact on the area. It attempts to examine these phenomena through the lens of how design choices attempt to shape themselves around culture and environment or to create a new culture and environment. Results from quantitative simple survey data, and informal, formal, and focus group interviews suggest that design choices that implement previous elements of culture and environment have been most successful in creating a new culture for the Saigon South area and have had a positive impact on resident’s perception of the environment.


Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies and Planning


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