Can Tho Accelerator

How can this delta city manage growth and flooding with solutions appropriate to its socio-ecological context?

The conventional approach to flood protection in Can Tho does not account for the city’s unique and dynamic climate risk, financial constraints, and natural context. The Resilience Accelerator will engage key stakeholders to support the visioning, planning, and design of “nature-based” infrastructure that is suited to the city’s specific ecological, socio-economic, regulatory, and institutional realities. The Accelerator aims to explore the role of nature-based infrastructure as a means of conservation, urban growth management, flood management, and stormwater management. The Accelerator will also explore opportunities for prototype site selection for pilot projects and introduce a new design methodology into plans for resettlement areas where plans for infrastructure, roads, and sewers may be under consideration.


“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”



The Resilience Accelerator is paired with a Columbia GSAPP’s Urban Design Studio in partnership with a local academic partner, which will be key to the success of the Accelerator program. It will ensure productive exchange of local information, international precedent, and joint learning about the tools and practices of resilience. Studio curriculum will invite expert faculty to lead student investigations of design and planning solutions that span multiple sectors from infrastructure design, economic development, social justice, and long term land use planning for climate adaptation. The results of this studio will feed a large-scale visualization of risk in the Mekong Delta and design scenarios. Presented in book format and exhibition collateral, these tools will help support the City’s effort to communicate possibilities for nature-based infrastructure amongst local, national, and international public and private investment audiences. 






Thaddeus Pawlowski

Johanna Lovecchio 

GIdeon Finck



Kate Orff

Dilip Da Cunha 

Geeta Mehta

Julia Watson 



100 Resilient Cities

City of Can Tho

Can Tho University

Ho Chi Minh University



CRCL Travels to Can Tho, Vietnam with GSAPP Urban Design Studio