SOM was just awarded the master plan commission for Golden Hills, a major new sustainable city that dovetails with their recently revealed FTP City in Danang, Vietnam. The green development is set to transform a 375 hectare plot on the Cu De River into an environmentally sensitive town with robust pedestrian thoroughfares, water-cleansing green belts, and an urban fabric composed of shops, services, parks and mixed-density living. SOM’s masterplan will incorporate a balanced diversity of residential and commercial development that sensibly straddles the environmentally diverse river banks.

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The design shares much with SOM’s FTP City proposal in the way it ensures water quality, pedestrian access, and layers of mixed-use development to form a community that is both economically viable and bonded with the environment.

Carefully designed for flood protection, the master plan calls for extensive green belts that offer recreational space while absorbing and filtering storm water before it enters the river. Paths throughout the development are carefully shaded to encourage non-vehicular use, and much of the riverfront will be preserved for existing habitat, which buffers the town from periodic flooding.

Like many older towns the center will be a commercial district ringed with high-density residential apartments. Further out, smaller multiplex and single-family homes will be strung along the green belts. Services for an estimate 30,000 residences will be incorporated to maintain local viability and reduce the need for transportation — and thus energy and resources.