Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Travail de fin d'études / Projet de fin d'études : Flood vulnerability of informal settlements in Phnom Penh

Bacqué, Matéo ULiège
Promotor(s) : Teller, Jacques ULiège ; Calixte, Xaviera ULiège
Date of defense : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023 • Permalink :
Title : Travail de fin d'études / Projet de fin d'études : Flood vulnerability of informal settlements in Phnom Penh
Translated title : [fr] Vulnérabilité face aux inondations des quartier informels à Phnom Penh
Author : Bacqué, Matéo ULiège
Date of defense  : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023
Advisor(s) : Teller, Jacques ULiège
Calixte, Xaviera ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Ratboren, Chan 
Dewals, Benjamin ULiège
Taing, Kimnenh ULiège
Language : English
Number of pages : 86
Keywords : [en] Cambodia
[en] Phnom Penh
[en] Peri-urban
[en] Vulnerability
[en] Flood risk
[en] Informal settlements
[en] Poor settlements
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Multidisciplinary, general & others
Funders : Académie de recherche et d'enseignement supérieur de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master : ingénieur civil architecte, à finalité spécialisée en "urban and environmental engineering"
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is naturally exposed to flooding due to its geography. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the city is subject to seasonal heavy rainfall episodes linked to the monsoon phenomenon and the rising waters of these bodies of water. Since the 2000s, Phnom Penh has experienced rapid urban expansion and population growth, exacerbating the risk of flooding. Despite the capital's significant economic growth in recent decades, poverty remains a serious concern in many parts of the city, with a total of around 280 poor and often informal settlements in Phnom Penh. Poor people are by nature the most vulnerable to flooding, and reducing their vulnerability is a major challenge in making Phnom Penh a sustainable and resilient city.
The purpose of this study is to identify the vulnerability factors of Phnom Penh's poor or informal settlements. More generally, the aim of this study is to assess the vulnerability of poor settlements to flooding.
In the first part, vulnerability factors at city level were identified through a review of the scientific literature and analysis of secondary data. In the second part, vulnerability factors at settlements and building level were identified through the study of a specific poor settlements.
An analysis of the scientific literature and the creation of a sensitivity map of quarters to flooding has shown that the most vulnerable areas are the peri-urban zones. On the one hand, peri-urban areas are more exposed to the risk of flooding due to a lack of infrastructure, and on the other hand, it is in Phnom Penh's peri-urban areas that the poorest settlement are found. A significant proportion of these poor settlements are located along the riverbanks, exacerbating their vulnerability. The analysis of a poor settlement revealed a diversity of housing typologies within poor settlements, with varying degrees of vulnerability. There are a large number of precarious buildings that are easily damaged by flooding, with no protective measures in place.



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  • Bacqué, Matéo ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. civ. arch., à fin.


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