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Community participation in urban regeneration projects in Vietnam

Chu, Viet Cuong


Viet Cuong Chu


This research explores how communities participate in a collaborative process with policy makers and development professionals in upgrading mixed housing settlements. In order to achieve this aim, four objectives were clarified in this thesis, which include: (1) - The nature of community participation in the process of upgrading mixed housing settlements in Vietnam; (2) – The ways that community participation shape the process of participation and the negotiated outcomes; (3) – The policy context and political culture which frame power relations in state-citizen interaction in Vietnam; and (4) – The community participation framework in regeneration projects in Vietnam.
Firstly, by initially examining the literature on community participation, mostly in relation to the United Kingdom, the author established the different approaches to community participation as well as an analytical framework for the research which includes the benefits of and barriers to community participation in regeneration projects. This conceptual contribution of the research summarised the picture of the participatory approach in urban regeneration projects in the UK. The framework provided a firm structure to study participatory issues in Vietnam in this research through the analysis of two case studies.
Secondly, the contribution of the thesis at the practical level is the provision of lessons from the UK and from other developing countries (Tanzania, South Africa, the Philippines and Thailand) that Vietnam can learn from (in both positive and negative ways) with reference to various aspects of people empowerment, resource management and the (de-)centralisation of government. Although the thesis did not draw extensively on the lessons from the four developing countries, they did provide general overviews of community participation in urban regeneration projects in developing countries facing similar problems to those of Vietnam.
Finally, at the empirical level, the research investigated the participatory context, including Vietnam’s governmental structure, political culture, the development of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), citizen rights and institutions, which structured community participation in Vietnam. This context has strongly influenced urban issues especially post-1986 which is known as the renovation period in Vietnam. Since 1986 there have been a number of attempts by government to improve opportunities for people to become involved in urban projects as well as by organisations from outside the country. The analysis of the case studies shows that policies to renovate neighbourhoods in urban areas have offered positive examples of and reasons for implementing further community participation in renewal projects in Vietnam.


Chu, V. C. Community participation in urban regeneration projects in Vietnam. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Keywords community, participation, regeneration, renewal
Public URL
Award Date Jan 15, 2014

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