Reality of Urbanization and Urban Master Plan of Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR: Issues and Prospects


  • Thanousorn Vongpraseuth Faculty of Architecture, National University of Laos, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR


urbanization, urban growth management, urban master plan, Vientiane capital, Lao PDR


This study aims to identify the issues and prospects of Vientiane Urban Master Plan (VUMP) development processes under the urbanized conditions in the capital city of Lao PDR. The existing VUMP within the last decade has been brought into account in consideration both data collection and discussion processes. This study mainly focuses on identifying the characteristics and the implementation directions of the VUMP. In order to clarify these research questions, the implementation data from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), project investments data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and in-depth interview technique in the related sectors are utilized. From these data, the comparison analysis is applied crucially to learn the crossed dimensions between the existing VUMP and the implementation effectiveness.   Regarding the results, the implementation processes and administrative sectors are the paralleled issues in driving of VUMP. Therefore, this study suggests the possible solutions with combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches in the implementations. The top-down approach deals with strategic development direction, defined by the master plans. It is suggested that in the framework of implementing the master plans, economic, environmental, financial, and norm of social instruments should be applied in combination with regulative devices, as the later solely could be ineffective. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach emphasized on community empowerment and inclusion of people at the grass-root level into development processes. In order to move forward the collective actions in implementation of the VUMP, it is crucial to encourage the common understanding, share directions, and collaborations with various sectors.


. ADB. Lao PDR: Urban development sector assessment, strategy, and road map, Philippines, 2012.

. T. Bakirtas, T and A. G. “The relationship between energy consumption, urbanization, and economic growth in new emerging-market countries”. Energy, vol. 147, pp. 110-121, 2018.

. J. Chen. “Rapid urbanization in China: a real challenge to soil protection and food security”. Catena, vol. 69 (1), pp. 1-15, 2007.

. CIA. Urban population, CIA the world fact-book, 2017.

. JICA. Final report: Vientiane Master Plan 2030, Vientiane Capital, Laos, 2011.

. P. Knox. Urbanization, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA, 2009.

. P. L. Knox and L. Mc Carthy. Urbanization (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.

. C. M. Lee and K. Y. Ahn. “Five new towns in the Seoul metropolitan area and their attractions in non-working trips: Implications on self-containment of new towns”. Habitat Int, vol. 29(4), pp. 647-666, 2005.

. J.Y.F. Lin and B. K. Chen. “Urbanization and urban-rural inequality in China: a new perspective from the government's development strategy”. Front. Econ. China. vol. 1 (1), 2011.

. D. D.Lu, S. M. Yao, and H. Liu. China regional development report: Urbanization and spatial sprawl. Commercial Press, Beijing, 2006.

. S. W. K. Mak, L. H. T. Choy, and W. K. O. “Privatization, housing conditions and affordability in the People's Republic of China”. Habitat Int. vol. 31 (2), pp. 177-192, 2007.

. Ministry of Planning and Investment. 8th Five-year national socioeconomic development plan 2016-2020, Vientiane Capital, Laos, 2016.

. Ministry of Planning and Investment. Report on the round table implementation meeting, Vientiane Capital, Laos, 2016.

. Ministry of Public Works and Transport. Decree of urban management in Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Capital, Laos, 2000.

. R. Munton. London’s Green Belt. Routledge, London and New York, 2007, pp. 1-12.

. J. Shi, Z. Yingxuan, H. Dan, and C. Huili. “Statistical methodologies used to calculate urbanization rates in China”. Chinese Journal of Population Resources and Environment, vol. 8(3), pp. 89-96. 2013.

. United Nations. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, (ST/ESA/SER.A/366), Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2015.

. T. Vongpraseuth and C. G. Choi. “Globalization, foreign direct investment, and urban growth management: Policies and conflicts in Vientiane, Laos”. Land Use Policy, vol. 42, pp. 790-799, 2015.

. T. Vongpraseuth and C. G. Choi. “Commuting mode choice of new towns and mini-new towns in the Seoul Metropolitan Area: Seongnam and Goyang cities with Bundang and Ilsan new towns”. Korean Regional Development Association, vol.26 (12), pp. 25-50, 2014.

. Y. P. Wang, J. Wu. “Urbanization and informal development in China: urban villages in Shenzhen”. International Journal of Urban Regional Research, vol. 33 (4), pp.957-973, 2009.

. Y. C. Yang, J. H. Liu, and Y. T. Zhang, Y.T. “An analysis of the implications of China's urbanization policy for economic growth and energy consumption”. J. Clean. Prod, pp. 1-12, 2017.

. X. Zhang, J. Chen, M. Tan, and Y. Sun. “Assessing the impact of urban sprawl on soil resources of Nanjing city using satellite images and digital soil databases”. Catena, vol.69 (1), pp. 16-30. 2007.




How to Cite

Vongpraseuth, T. . (2020). Reality of Urbanization and Urban Master Plan of Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR: Issues and Prospects. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 70(1), 1–15. Retrieved from