Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The European Union launched a project yesterday, entitled World Cities Việt Nam, which aims to promote the exchange of experience and best practice on regional and urban development policies. Two Vietnamese cities – Hà Nội and HCM City – are being paired with two European cities – Milan (Italy) and Kosice (Slovakia).
"The European Union and Việt Nam recognise that the development of cities is a key factor in the promotion of sustainable development in the world," said Bruno Angelet, Ambassador – Head of Delegation of the Delegation of the European Union in Việt Nam.
"The European Union and its Member States are therefore committed to engaging with partners around the globe, to expand opportunities for city-to-city co-operation developing capacities and fostering exchanges of urban solutions and mutual learning to jointly address the challenges of sustainable development in our partner countries overall," he said.
At the launch ceremony, participants listened to city presentations and discussions on the theme “Innovation for Smart and Green Cities”, given by senior officials of the cities of Hà Nội, HCM City, Milan and Kosice and Ambassadors of Italy and Slovakia.
Võ Minh Thanh, head of the Information Technology Division under HCM City’s Department of Information and Communications, said the city has outlined objectives which include: Driving economic growth toward a knowledge economy; enhancing liveability and workability; facilitating smarter governance and increasing citizen participation in city governance
To realise the targets, the city would focus on areas such as E-government, traffic congestion, and traffic accidents, urban flooding, environment, health services, food safety, public security, urban renovation and development.
World Cities is a 700,000-euro (US$785,000) project by the European Union managed by the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The project originates in a Preparatory Action of the European Parliament to promote the exchange of experience and best practice between the European Union and non-EU countries on the theme of territorial development with particular reference to sustainable urban development.
The project facilitates the exchange of information and good practices on regional and urban development policy issues. Co-operation is based on the identification of pilot cities and the development of concrete actions, for implementation in the short-term, in areas including urban innovation (smart-city) and green technologies (energy efficiency, low carbon development).
Intervention areas will be decided by the involved cities and regions, with strong support from the project team, and in co-ordination with the EU Commission (DG REGIO), the EU Delegations in respective countries and national authorities where relevant.
Actions will be designed to increase so-called ‘triple-helix co-operation’ between governments, researchers and businesses. Therefore, the project team will support cities involved in the development of concrete action plans for short-term implementation.
World Cities’ ultimate goal is to strengthen market opportunities and job creation while pursuing the sustainable economic development of the cities involved, thus fostering win-win co-operation.
Besides Việt Nam, the World Cities project also runs in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea. The programme will also launch a collaborative online platform to facilitate the exchange of information and good practices between EU and non-EU cities.
Representatives from the Vietnamese government, EU Member States’ embassies, international organisations, academic institutes and civil society attended the launch and the panel discussion. — VNS