Kaysone Phomvihane, Laos
City population: 125760
Duration: in planning stage – ongoing
Implementation status: In planning stage
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Central Business District / City Centre, Other
Last updated: October 2021

Kaysone experiences severe flooding events on an annual basis due to its location to the banks of Mekong river, as well as periodic storms, and past responses to these threats have focused on the Savanxay Market and the Southern Flood Gate, but with limited success (Ref. 1). This intervention focuses on the development of an integrated adaptation plan for the area around the market and adjacent to the Mekong canal. This plan includes NBS-specific components considering how the market's parking area provides an important opportunity for bioengineering and green cover, and that there is "an opportunity to use adjoining land as a constructed wetland and park for recreation, flood retention and storm water treatment" (Ref. 1). The adaptation plan comprises seven points overall, focusing on wastewater recycling, walking paths, proper drainage and green space in addition to an educational component related to climate change and its impacts (Ref. 1).

Kaysone flooding: current state and predicted impacts of climate change


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Alley and street greens
  • Green parking lots
  • Green areas for water management
  • Rain gardens
  • Swales and filter strips
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Flood protection
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Economic development: service sectors
  • Tourism support


Maintenance and management of urban nature, Strategy, plan or policy development

Project objectives

In light of the projected increases in runoff and streamflow as a result of climate change, the integrated adaptation plan aims to minimise the extent and severity of flooding within Kaysone (Ref. 1). Specifically, the project aims to: - drain waste and stormwater into the Mekong and improve onsite waste treatment and drainage. - provide an area of high-quality amenity and beauty for vendors, users and tourists alike with green space and walkways to the Mekong River. - facilitate runoff through natural drainage corridors and enhance infiltration of groundwater. - limiting or accommodating river overtopping as much as possible through sustainable urban planning and appropriate green infrastructure design. - help the Kaysone area to become a more liveable space, with nature being brought back to the urban centre also "provid[ing] residents and tourists with recreational areas, and improv[ing] people’s living standards" (Ref. 3). - reduce flooding that affects local livelihoods and strengthens the capacity of the local community in adapting to climate change; - reduce duration and frequency of flooding; - increase knowledge and participation of the locals in responding to climate change impacts; - greatly enhance the beauty and amenity of the area as a recreational and touristic asset with links to the Mekong River.

Implementation activities

NBS-specific implementation activities within both the market area itself and within the adjacent parking area will see re-design for maximisation of permeable surfaces and infiltration through the installation of green infrastructure including bio-swales, permeable paving and rain gardens to reduce run-off and flooding (Ref. 1). Walkways and footpaths will further see an increase of "permeable surfaces and infiltration through green infrastructure such as nature strips, stormwater tree pits, permeable paving, bio-swales and rain-gardens" (Ref. 1). Tree canopy and vegetation cover will be maximised to promote evapotranspiration and reduce run-off, and natural drainage corridors will be identified and rehabilitated using green infrastructure (Ref. 1).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Implement sustainable urban drainage infrastructure (e.g. to make space for water)

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Other


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Regional government
  • Local government/municipality
  • Citizens or community group

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Citizen oversight (e.g. boards, advisory)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The Kaysone adaptation plan has been developed by the Kaysone Phomvihane Climate Change Core Group, which was formally established as a permanent technical advisory group in town development by the Provincial and town government in response to this TA 8186-REG: Climate Resilience in Cities (Ref. 1). The Core Group involves "technical staff from town and provincial infrastructure, planning and environment departments as well as the Women’s Union", and coordinates with "other departments in Kaysone Phomvihane on issues of climate resilience", providing recommendations to the Savannakhet Province and Kaysone Phomvihane municipal governments (Ref. 1). Implementation, management, monitoring and maintenance of the adaptation strategy itself will be undertaken by local residents, members of the Core Group, the private sector and both "technical and administrative government agency staff working at the district and province-level" (Ref. 1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public regional budget
  • Public local authority budget
  • Other

Type of funding

  • Other

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Strengthened capacity to address climate hazards/natural disasters
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved waste management
  • Improved soil quality
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss

Economic impacts

  • Reduce financial cost for urban management
  • Other

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Safety
  • Improved community safety to climate-related hazards
  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool



Proposed interventions for Savanxay Market
Proposed interventions for the market parking lot including examples of permeable paving, bio-swales and rain-gardens to increase infiltration and water purification
Proposed interventions including transformation of vacant lot into a constructed wetland, flood retention and recreation area
Proposed interventions pertaining to walkways and footpaths around the market (left) with examples of permeable paving (top right), vegetated nature strips and drainage (bottom right)
Information about this nature-based solution was collected as part of the UNA global extension project funded by the British Academy.