Comparing Master Plans

There is no  agreed upon and legally binding master plan for the city of Phnom Penh. However, two master plan strategies for 2020 have been proposed. Le Livre Blanc-Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007  and Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005. Compare the two approaches of these proposals

1-Visal (

Between Le Livre Blanc-Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007 (made by  Bureau des Affaires Urbaines ) and Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005 (made by Phnom Penh Municipality). These documents are made to help as a guide or a master plan for developing the Phnom Penh city in hope to improve governance, promote local economic development, strengthen the system of urban poverty reduction program in sustainable way, to improve the city infrastructure and to improve aesthetic in both architectural and landscape.

But when look into detail of information of how to achieve these goals,

The PPCDS2005 fail short to provide clear information of what to do. The 63 pages of text that talking about ideas, look more like an assumption to hope for the development to growth in their direction without giving detail in number, mapping or proven data to help execute the strategy. But what this loosely base document allow are freedom for investor to step in and take their part in city development without the constraint of law and order with the hope that thing will go according to plan.

On the other hand the Le Livre Blanc PPMP07 provide detail of information including current infrastructure, micro zoning, problem about the current development, propose solution for the next 10years, etc. With so many information are in France made by a France organization it was  reject by the city as quote from an article at asialifeguide :

After years in the making, a master plan for the city is finally at the cusp of being adopted. A 330-page document, the “Livre Blanc du Developpement et de l’Amenagement de Phnom Penh” provides a comprehensive description of both historical and current characteristics of the capital, ending with a strategic master plan leading up to year 2020.

Not everyone is convinced of its value.

“It’s just a coloured drawing,” says Somethearith. He argues the document provides little practical direction for the development of the city. “Urban planning is about finding solutions. It’s costly and it takes a lot of time.”

Still those information can be very useful in a micro-level development and that what this city need. Then against the information is being brought up and that would meant that if the document pass the potential investor will have to take into accord what they can do and where they can do it, this will lead to a less aggressive growing which would in hope can make the city better but at the same time slow down the development speed. And this may be the reason why it was being reject as an official guide for the city because to some perspective what the city need right now is to grow in way to help the macro economy the micro will come later.


City Plan for Phnom Penh – Two Methods

Jet Odrerir


The dichotomy between the two studies of Phnom Penh’s present and proposed future, Le Livre Blanc and City Development Strategy couldn’t be greater than if one compared a grammar book to Shakespeare.

On one hand there is the intensely researched Le Livre Blanc. An immense amount of research was put together by a very talented team covering every aspect of the constructs of the city. Well thought out studies are relayed by mapping that cover most all aspects of what a city planner needs to know.

On the other hand, City Development Strategy is a cut and paste collection of numbers that explain little and strategies that are as defined as an ocean shoreline.


3-Nou Muniroth

• Comparison between:
“Le Livre Blance”
By showing all the detail diagrams and analysis from micro to macro data about Phnom Penh city, The Le Livre Blance development knows it all and it could a really strong stand for proposing or developing the city into the right direction.
“City Development Strategy” more about :
-Future vision
-Setting regulation
“City Phnom Penh Strategy” is talking about, Phnom Penh Municipal Development Committee stating the improvement strategies to strengthen the development strategy. By showing their summary of the Phnom Penh history and previous development strategies, they have come up with 5 main visions and go to the goals of their tasks. All the guidelines for all the visions and strategies has been set and took care by monitoring and valuation indicators.


4. Phok Chandara

Compare and Contrast “Le Livre Blanc” and the “City Development Strategy”

 “Le Livre Blanc” and the “City Development Strategy”  Although they have the different methods to show the information but both Master plans have the same goals such as improve governance, promotes local economic and social development by sustainable way and poverty reduction.



5. Kim Na Lae

Phnom Penh Master Plan Comparison (Writing) 5 points

Both of «Le Livre Blanc: Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007» and «Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005» aim to improvement and development of city in the vision of;

1)      Land use and housing

2)      Environment and natural resource

3)      Infrastructure and transportation

4)      Social service

5)      Economic development

And they believe the sustainability of city development is dependent upon Master plan of development zones and The city development strategy.

However, in the way of describe their vision and strategy, «Le Livre Blanc: Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007» seems to show data and opinion more systematic with actual data with numbers. For example, «Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005» stated, “Phnom Penh is modern city but preserving Khmer heritages and identity with appropriate infrastructure, means of transportation, construction done with clear standard and well developed suburban area.” However «Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005» doesn’t describe what is “clear standard” and how much, how long, how far suburban area is going to be developed.

On the other hand, «Le Livre Blanc: Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007» shows exact vision of transportation by visual source as the image on the left side.

Overall comparing two master plans of «Le Livre Blanc: Phnom Penh Master Plan 2007» and «Phnom Penh City Development Strategy 2005», I got an idea that Phnom Penh’s master planners draw outline of development and give choice and option to one who has finance to develop the city. Satellite cities such as Golden Tower 42, Camko City, and Grand Phnom Penh International City are the examples of Phnom Penh master plan. Governors drew the outline of development area and gave permission and license of satellite city development but maybe cannot reach to the consideration or organic structure of city.


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