On October 19, 2022, the TU Darmstadt delegation in Ho Chi Minh City was invited to deliver presentations about planning instruments and linguistic landscaping for sustainable urban development. The invitation came formally from Dr. Phạm Trần Hải. He is the deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies (HIDS) and the chair of the executive committee of the Institute for Regional and Urban Studies of Vietnam (IRUS). Vietnam has recently enacted new legislation on urban development which addresses the planning instrument known as land readjustment (Baulandumlegung) and Dr. Phạm requested up-to-date knowledge transfer on the planning instrument and related sustainable novelties.
Dr. Felipe De Souza, the postdoctoral researcher at the department of land management, delivered a presentation on land readjustment addressing the outcomes of an extensive literature review on the topic. That was followed by methodologies for data collection, propensity score for matching household characteristics, and difference-in-differences estimator to evaluate the effects of land readjustment on property prices and primary income. Dr. Christoph Merkelbach, managing director of the language resource center of TU Darmstadt, delivered a presentation on intercultural perspectives and cultural understanding through linguistic signs found in public spaces. The main functions of linguistic signs were fully categorized and illustrated with examples. When transgressive ones were portrayed, a debate arose on how opposition to land readjustment could be understood and managed in many projects. The network connection between TU Darmstadt and the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies started in 2016 when Dr. De Souza was invited as a lecturer for an UN-Habitat training course on land management in South Korea that Dr. Phạm attended.