Flows of Water, Flows of People in Lao Cai, Vietnam

The Red River, flowing from China, runs through the northern border city of Lao Cai, in one of the poorest and most mountainous regions of Vietnam. A new expressway runs through Lao Cai and supports increased trade and investment. The economic growth draws in rural migrants, and also displaces people as it appropriates land to grow. Lao Cai’s urbanization occurs in a region that expects more intense and frequent storms due to climate change. Lao Cai already faces frequent floods and landslides that overwhelm its current infrastructure. Rapid
urbanization increases paved surfaces, which increase runoff water flows on the streets and flood risk during storms. My research seeks to learn how, as a result of urbanization and climate change, changed water flows and flood risks affect people’s homes in Lao Cai. I plan to map the changes in water flows and residents’ experiences of water.

Faculty Supervisor:

Amrita Daniere


Lusha Zhou



Geography / Geology / Earth science



University of Toronto



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