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Vietnamese-German University

About the speaker

Dr Le Thi Thuy Hang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Architecture bachelor program at Vietnamese-German University.

She earned a PhD in Sustainable Urban Development at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, and has worked in doing research, teaching, and consulting in architecture, urban development and planning.

Her recent studies concentrate on public open spaces towards the elderly in Ho Chi Minh City,  gated communities, rainwater use, and architectural elements in tropical climates.

Presentation highlights

  • The big gap between theory and practice in architecture and urban planning fields.
  • How to narrow the gap between theory and practice?
  • A method to develop design guidelines as a bridge between academic findings (theory) and practical applications (practice).

Paper Abstract

Translating academic research findings into practical guidance for application: An example of design guidelines for urban spaces for the elderly in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Design guidelines are considered the theory that guides the practitioners for practical application. However, the transformation from theory to practice and vice versa has many issues. Conflict exists between the theorists (policymakers, researchers, and educators) and practitioners (architects, designers, planners, and landscape architects). The necessity to translate academic research into applied research, with guidelines matching the needs of specific user groups, faces many challenges. Besides, many conflicts exist between research and practice, so practitioners hardly use academic results for their design. Therefore, the guidelines should be tailored based on the needs of specific user groups, which vary due to the context. In Vietnam, documents on urban design for the elderly are insufficient.

Therefore, this paper aims to show a method of translating the results of academic research into practical guidance. It uses the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method to synthesize the global age-friendly design guidelines as the framework. Besides, it also applies the academic results of a survey about the elderly’s needs in HCMC regarding urban spaces. The new guidance is developed based on the framework and practical results to fulfill their needs. The outcome of this study includes two guidelines, the first one as the framework and the second as the tailored one matching the needs of the surveyed users. Most importantly, it shows how to narrow the gap between theory and practice.

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