Integrating Ecosystem-based Approaches into Flood Risk Management for Adaptive and Sustainable Urban Development in Central Viet Nam


Central Viet Nam is characterized by rapid urbanization, particularly in small and medium-sized coastal cities. At the same time, the region is facing an increase in precipitation and heavy rainfall events caused by climate change, which, combined with land use changes, results in more frequent and more intense flooding. In this context, the research project FloodAdaptVN evaluates flood risk reduction and adaptation measures based on their impact reduction, cost-efficiency and sustainability. The focus study area is the City of Huế and its hinterland in the Thua Thien Huế province.

Overall Aim and Objectives

The overall aim of FloodAdaptVN is to reduce current and future flood risks through the implementation of targeted ecosystem-based adaptation strategies into the flood risk management frameworks in Central Vietnam. Specific objectives of FloodAdaptVN include:

  • achieving a better understanding and assessing drivers, spatial patterns (incl. hotspots), as well as dynamics of present-day and future flood risks (2030, 2050, 2100),
  • investigating entry points for and barriers towards the implementation of disaster risk reduction (DRR), risk transfer (i.e. insurance) and adaptation solutions (with a strong focus on ecosystem-based approaches),
  • developing a decision support tool for risk-informed (spatial) planning and prioritizing among different DRR, risk transfer and adaptation measures, and
  • fostering capacity development.

General Approach and Project Structure

The German-Vietnamese FloodAdaptVN project is currently in the stage of a Research and Development (R&D) phase of 48 months (04/2021 – 03/2025), in which the initial approach – co-developed in a Definition phase (08/2019-03/2021) – is refined and applied with our local scientific contributors and stakeholders. FloodAdaptVN is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding initiative “Sustainable Development of Urban Regions” (SURE).

The FloodAdaptVN Roadmap

Within the framework of FloodAdaptVN, the following key activities and solution concepts are being developed by a co-design approach, supporting the responsible local authorities in reducing current and future flood risks:

  • Active involvement of the local stakeholders in the development of research results and establishment of a stakeholder network for climate change adaptation
  • Analyzing the drivers, patterns and dynamics of present-day flood risk by satellite earth observation, hydrological modeling, and in-situ data
  • Modeling future flood hazards under Representative Concentration (RCP) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) scenarios
  • Assessing present-day exposure and vulnerability of people and infrastructure and develop future scenarios
  • Evaluating existing and potentials for additional flood risk reduction, risk transfer and adaptation measures
  • Assessment of the legislative and policy framework and integration of climate change adaptation and flood risk management measures into the current planning practice
  • Integrating scientific data and knowledge from the local population and relevant actors into the planned flood information system (FRAME)
  • Evaluating climate risk insurance benefits, which offers ways to transfer risks and reduce the impacts of hazards on the most vulnerable
  • Investing in capacity building and knowledge exchange amongst German and Vietnamese institutions

Integrative, Transdisciplinary and Collaborative Research Design

Complex problem profiles require resourceful capacities and knowledge to engage them. The impetus of FloodAdaptVN is co-design and co-develop innovative ideas with our multiple internal and external stakeholders. In order to create actionable results that lead to sustainable solutions and the implementation of measures, a co-design approach with all relevant stakeholders from the initial project idea of FloodAdaptVN to the final implementation of the outcomes is our philosophy. The inter- and trans-disciplinary research design of FloodAdaptVN brings together methods and expertise in spatial planning, legal processes, policy making, satellite remote sensing, spatial data processing, flood modeling, climate change, geography, risk and hazard assessment, and more…

Open and Transparent Research

FloodAdapt VN commits to open and transparent research practices that follow the FAIR principles in order to make data and research results Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable and Reusable. Contact us for more details.


For further information, please contact:

Dr. Felix Bachofer (Project Lead)
German Aerospace Center (DLR),
Earth Observation Center (EOC), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
82234 Wessling (Oberpfaffenhofen)
Email: felix.bachofer [at] dlr.de