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Attracting big business ‘key' to creating sustainable cities

Update: September, 15/2012 - 09:20

Chamber of Commerce director Nguyen Quang Vinh spoke to Cong thuong (Industry and Trade) about developing sustainable cities.

What factors make up a sustainable city?

A sustainable city is formed by several factors, such as planning, transportation, energy, infrastructure and environment.

There are 755 cities and urban areas in Viet Nam at the moment, most of them facing difficulties.

No city in the world can be sustainable without the participation of enterprises. However, it's difficult for enterprises in Viet Nam to participate in sustainable cities as 98 per cent of them are small and medium-sized and weak in management and financial resources.

Besides that, the policy is not adequate to involve enterprises in infrastructure, improving traffic situations and dealing with environment pollution.

Energy has a strong impact on the sustainability of a city. How do we plan for its use?

Energy is an important factor. Cities expend 80 per cent of the world's energy, 40 per cent of it on buildings, and that figure is increasing.

Building energy supply and distribution systems must be a priority in city planning.

In Viet Nam, planning is not only the work of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, it requires the involvement of other ministries, State agencies and localities.

What are the solutions for our fragmented urban development?

Cities in Viet Nam lack the ability to provide adequate power, traffic and drainage systems. It will require a lot of time and funds to improve them.

The Viet Nam Business Council for Sustainable Development has recently made a "green offices" report on ways to save energy in buildings and respond to climate change.

The Government is going to approve its green strategy soon. Besides reducing emission to 2020 and beyond, one of main targets is to go green in production and consumption, which would have positive impacts on city development.

What should we do to have sustainable cities from the beginning so that we avoid costly fixing afterwards?

Viet Nam is among countries strongly affected by climate change, so when planning sustainable cities we need to care about this matter. Human resources is also key factor.

Recently, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development offered solutions to help governments build sustainable cities.

Based on that, Viet Nam will co-ordinate with multinational corporations to establish a working group on sustainable city issues and then co-ordinate with city authorities to start the planning process, conforming to criteria of sustainable cities. — VNS

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