Towards a Sustainable and Water-Sensitive Krong Kratié, Cambodia – Baseline Assessment: Findings and Strategy Development (September 2023)

This baseline study meets the need of national and local governments to enhance their decision-making capacity and information resources. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the challenges and opportunities for sustainable water management in Krong Kratié’s urban development.

Challenges include:

  • Urban Transformation: Krong Kratié’s urban role redefinition amid rapid economic and social changes in Cambodia.
  • Complex Water Needs: Challenges in meeting water-related basic needs due to dynamic urbanization and climate change.
  • Limited Urban Planning: Insufficient focus on water-sensitive parameters in urban planning.
  • Infrastructure Gaps: Lack of comprehensive infrastructure, including water supply, drainage, sewage, waste management, and green spaces.
  • Sewage Issues: Concerns about deficient sewage management and its impact on health and the environment.
  • Green Space Shortage: Insufficient green public spaces contributing to urban heat islands and environmental degradation.
  • Underused Wetlands: The unrecognized value of wetlands for sustainable urbanization, infrastructure, and livelihoods.
  • Community Engagement: The need to engage communities and investors in sustainable urbanization.
  • National Dependency: Heavy reliance on national government decisions and resources despite decentralization policies.

In this regard, the study contains recommendations for action, such as:

  • Embrace holistic urban planning, emphasizing balanced development with a focus on strategic water management.
  • Strengthen flood resilience through effective drainage, wetland preservation, flow regime security, and vigilant monitoring.
  • Utilize the lake area for flood management, biodiversity, and tourism while enhancing urban green spaces.
  • Expand potable water connections, especially in underserved regions, to enhance water quality and reduce groundwater reliance.
  • Consider decentralized wastewater treatment solutions, particularly in pollution-prone areas, with collaborative city sanitation planning.
  • Improve waste management efficiency, extend landfill lifespan through waste separation and composting, and raise public awareness about waste.
2023_PUW_Kratie_BS_September 2023 Online (67 MB)
BA Kratie_Annexes_Sept 2023

Towards a Sustainable and Water Sensitive Sam Neua Town, Laos – Baseline Study and Strategy Development (February 2023)

This study shows the specific water and urban planning challenges of the Lao partner city/town such as:

  1. The city’s watershed is undergoing a massive change in land use patterns: The transformation of forests into agricultural land, the increasing sealing in the inner city area and its adjacent villages result in a rapidly increasing vulnerability to flooding events.
  2. The growth of the city is synonymous with a rapidly increasing consumption of fresh water and a related generation of wastewater. To date, this wastewater remains largely untreated.
  3. The rapid growth of the city hardly follows urban planning guidelines. Sam Neu’s valleys are increasingly filling up with residential homes. There is a danger that hardly any open space will remain for public facilities and green areas. Which will lead to a restriction of livability.

In this regard, the study contains recommendations for action such as:

  • Prohibiting the construction of buildings in flood risk zones and in areas at risk of landslides.
  • Proactively identify agricultural land or rice fields in urban extension areas that are designated as green spaces in the public interest.
  • Develop decentralized wastewater infrastructure that enables water security for the city.

19-02-2023_PUW_Sam_Neua_WEB (67 MB)

Towards a Sustainable and Water Sensitive Sariharjo, Sleman, Indonesia – Baseline study and strategy development (January 2023)

This baseline study elaborates the particular characteristics of the transformation process of Sariharjo heraas – a formerly rural “village” and today increasingly dynamic urban district of the metropolitan region of Yogyakarta. This transformation process is characterized by the advance of urban settlement structures (apartment blocks, new residential homes incl. gated communities, new stores, hotels, restaurants).

This process is characterized by a dynamic real estate market that hardly follows urban planning guidelines. Directly related to this is the loss of green-blue infrastructure such as rice paddies, which have long served as water buffers. Urban water-use patterns are also becoming increasingly prevalent, which, combined with increased water consumption, lead to the generation of corresponding wastewater. Sariharjo’s water infrastructure is only very partially prepared for this change. The local governance structures at the community level, which are characteristic of Central Java, are undergoing rapid change in the course of the urbanization process, which also has an impact on water governance.

The local government in particular, in cooperation with the communities, is challenged to create framework conditions that enable the sustainable development of green spaces and blue-green infrastructure and thus ensure the high livability of Sariharjo.

Sleman_Baseline_Study (39 MB)

Towards a Sustainable and Water Sensitive Kratié, Cambodia – Executive summary of Baseline Study – findings and recommendations (2023)

The baseline study for Kratié in Cambodia powerfully demonstrates the need to analyze and understand water-sensitive urban development in the context of the specific characteristics of each city.

Like many other small and medium-sized cities in Cambodia, Kratié is located in a river basin that causes intermittent and periodic flooding of urban areas. Although residents have lived with and adapted to flooding for generations, for example by building houses on stilts, a new quality of challenge is emerging in the context of climate change, changes in river flow regimes, and also land use patterns. Thus, in the course of urbanization, the wetlands surrounding the cities are coming under increasing pressure, which will have significant impacts on the flooding regime, the local climate and also on the livelihood of the population.

Consequently, the study recommends to understand the wetlands as a strategic element of the urban modernization of Kratié and the economic development of the region (i.e. tourism development) and to convert them into a sustainable use.

2023_PUW_Kratie_BS (40 MB)

“Responding to urban water challenges in Southeast Asia – Introducing polycentric management approaches to create resilient, water-sensitive cities.” (2021)

In this document, PolyUrbanWaters publishes major results of the definition phase (8/2019-2/2021).  It brings together comprehensive analyses of water-related challenges for cities in Southeast Asia and Germany. The contributions were prepared by academic institutions, city administrations, water operators and civil society institutions. They cover aspects such as governance, development of urban policy models, technological options and climate change adaptation strategies.

Responding_to_urban_water_challenges_in_SEA_PUW-Publication-2021-web (21 MB)

Conference material

PUW- Conference – KEYNOTE SESSION Urban Water Resources in the World and in Southeast Asia

PUW- Conference – PUBLIC SESSION 2 Water for the Future in Southeast Asian Cities

PUW-Conference – PUBLIC SESSION 3 Global Perspectives on Strategic Planning Tools and Methods for Sustainable Futures

Polycentric management of urban waters in fast-growing cities and peri-urban areas in Southeast Asia

KEYNOTE SESSION Urban Water Resources in the World and in Southeast Asia

Prof. Philipp Misselwitz, Chair of International Urbanism and Design Habitat Unit, Technical University Berlin
Welcome to the 1st International PolyUrbanWaters Conference (PDF,16MB)

Keynote Lecture

Prof. Renee Y. Chow, Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, Chair, Department of Architecture, Executive Associate Dean, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Water challenges in urban centers. Need for strategic tools (PDF, 47 MB)

Frank Fladerer, BORDA Regional Director, Bangkok Thailand
Institutional challenges for polycentric approaches for urban water management in Southeast Asia (PDF, 2MB)

Linnea Fölster, Hamburg Wasser, Hamburg, Germany
Institutional challenges for polycentric approaches for urban water management in Southeast Asia (PDF, 2MB)

Prof. Tony Wong, Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), Melbourne, Australia
Planning Water-sensitive Cities (PDF, 25MB)

Barry Beagen, Architect, Urban Planner and Program Director at Kota Kita, Solo, Indonesia
Water challenges and participatory planning approaches in Indonesia

PUBLIC SESSION 2 Water for the Future in Southeast Asian Cities

Dr Nazmul Huq, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Bonn, Germany
Moving from concepts to practice in urban resilience: Impressions from Asia (PDF, 8MB)

Dr. Phong Tung Nguyen, Vietnam Academy for Water Resources (VAWR), Hanoi, Vietnam
Localisation of SDGs 6 and 11 in fast-growing cities of Vietnam: planning for a sustainable future (PDF, 8MB)

Dr. Christof Vosseler, The Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban and Housing Development, Bremen, Germany
How water-sensitive planning contributes to building resilience and climate change adaptation processes: experiences from a German case study (PDF, 3MB)

Prof. Dr. Thammarat Koottatep, Environmental Engineering Management, Asian Institute of Technology , Bangkok, Thailand
Regulatory frameworks for (polycentric) water resources management: The case study of wastewater management in Thailand (PDF, 2 MB)

PUBLIC SESSION 3 Global Perspectives on Strategic Planning Tools and Methods for Sustainable Futures

Prof. Dr. Bakti (Bobi) Setiawan, Director – Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Challenges, potentials and emerging needs for different tools for sustainable urban planning in Sleman/ Indonesia (PDF, 3MB)

Rossana Poblet, Architect and Urban Planner, UN Habitat consultant on Integrated Regional Development Plan, Berlin, Germany
Integrated urban planning strategies and planning and design tools: When to implement them in the so-called Global South? (PDF, 18MB)

Lukas Pappert, Urban Designer, Urban Catalyst, Berlin
Urban transformation processes – strategic planning and participatory planning tools (PDF, 7MB)

Arlene Lusterio, TAO Pilipinas, Manila, Philippines
Planning future cities: active participation of local governments and civil society. Experiences from the Phillipines  (PDF, 33MB)


Kratié: Research outcomes & follow-up concept
9 July 2020
Presentation in Khmer language (PDF, 2MB)
Presentation in English (PDF, 2MB)

Sam Neua: Research outcomes & follow-up concept
23 June 2020
Presentation in English (PDF, 2MB)

Sleman: Research outcomes & follow-up concept
17 June 2020
Presentation in Bahasa Indonesia language (PDF, 3MB)
Presentation in English (PDF, 3MB)