Dr Celine Pierdet on Phnom Penh


Dr Céline PIERDET is an associate professor at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne.
She has written several articles on Phnom Penh and its flooding infrastructure as well as defending her dissertation at the University of Paris 1 – Pantheon-Sorbonne in 2008.

ABSTRACT – We assimilate to an opened system the city of Phnom Penh which has spread in the floodplain of the Mekong river by dikes and embankment successive. The major crisis suffered under the Khmer Rouge damaged hydraulic networks. Since 1979 through ad hoc interventions of actors “pioneers” on the networks the city-system comes into resilience, despite the occurrence of new crisis. While these networks are hardly rebuilt, the high land and property speculation for years 2005-2008 leads to a densification and a high standing of the urban fabric, what is a source of new imbalances for this system.

Key-words: city-system, resilience, networks, floods, speculation, investors, Phnom Penh

Her PhD is available at the Municipality of Phnom Penh (2nd floor – urban affairs) and at the National Archives.
An interesting passage from La résilience du système hydraulique de Phnom Penh au risque des investisseurs privés:
Land evictions, which slows in 2003 election time again with renewed vigor since 2008. Residents are
then expelled from the city-center to the periphery, on land just backfilled and unequipped, away from sources of employment. From 2004, the construction of hotels for tourists attracted more investment. Speculative projects of office property, shopping malls and luxury apartments in the center or periphery immediate then multiply and displace small operations housing and tourist hotels. The face of the city changes gradually studded with towers dozens of floors.

The Cambodian land speculation practice until mid-2008 in order to grow their savings very quickly, without resorting to bank loans. Have limited resources, the municipality of Phnom Penh can only freeze the land
to counter investors. And any planning document does still an order disposing of the common land. Urbanization is almost anarchic. Since 2008, if the projects already under progress, other begin in late 2009, with a year late. The sums of money invested in land and projects of high standing, sleep while waiting market recovery, which has strong consequences on the entire economic activity.”

More soon…

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