Son Tra Peninsula Strategic Vision Plan | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Son Tra Peninsula is located about 8 kilometers northeast of the city of Da Nang, in Central Vietnam. Projecting out into the South China Sea, the peninsula is approximately 60 square kilometers and sits about 700 meters above sea level.

Son Tra is connected with Da Nang via the longest suspension cable bridge in Vietnam, the Thuan Phuoc Bridge, which was opened in 2009. This connection to the city has improved accessibility, but it has also brought development interest that threatens the environmental health of the area, especially because Son Tra lacks a comprehensive plan to guide future development.

The Son Tra Peninsula Strategic Vision Plan outlines a range of master planning strategies to elevate the area as an eco-tourism destination while protecting its unique natural assets. The plan champions this territory as one to be enhanced, rather than exploited; it calls for the creation of a protected status for the ‘”mountain-island,” and it establishes clear “no build” zones at altitudes above 100 meters while suggesting locations where development may enhance economic opportunities without affecting the environment and natural beauty. Based on a slope analysis, the plan identifies opportunities for development that minimize large-scale cutting into the peninsula’s hillsides and coastline. The visual impact of development was also considered, and compact areas of potential growth were identified within valleys and coves along the coast, where development can be concealed.

The plan promotes higher density mixed-use development in a city that is beginning to sprawl into valuable natural areas; it advocates for more sustainable transportation, including car park zones for visitors, electric “island shuttles,” and walking and biking trails. The plan also creates opportunities for more activity at the waterfront, and it calls for a destination at the mountain peak, perhaps a panoramic observation area accessed via a cable car.

Additional Credit

  • Construction: City of Da Nang Department of Construction; Da Nang Construction Planning Institute

Photo Credit

    © SOM

Son Tra Peninsula Strategic Vision Plan

Jury Comments

The Son Tra Peninsula Plan offers clear guidance to direct growth in thoughtful and sustainable ways.

The plan reflects deep appreciation for the area’s considerable natural assets and provides well-crafted strategies to ensure their preservation for generations to come.

Through careful analysis and creative problem-solving, this plan strikes a delicate balance between the need for development and the protection of the native environment, both of which will have a significant impact on the area’s future.

2014 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Marcy McInelly, AIA, Chair
  • Urbsworks, Inc.
  • Portland, Oregon
  • David Gamble, AIA
  • Gamble Associates
  • Boston
  • Manuel de Lemos, AIA
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • The Honorable Tom Murphy
  • Senior Fellow, Urban Land Institute and
    former Mayor of Pittsburgh
  • Washington, DC
  • Brad Tomecek, AIA
  • Tomecek Studio Architecture
  • Denver

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