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Urban planning in disarray

Update: April, 12/2013 - 08:57
Planning for the Nam Trung Yen Urban Area in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District had been changed at least eight times. There is a big difference between the plans that are put down on paper and real construction work. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh

HA NOI — The quality of urban development planning activities in Ha Noi remains poor, which results in frequent changes of plans and delayed projects.

Chairwoman of the municipal People's Council Ngo Thi Doan Thanh highlighted the necessity to review and identify responsibilities of consultants, appraisers and authorities when problems with planning quality arose.

Thanh,who is also head of the council's supervisory board over planning management and implementation, revealed that the board has examined seven districts and four new urban areas over their management.

According to the city's Architectural Planning Department, until last September, the department had examined 244 urban development planning documents, of which 11 had to adjust in some specific areas, while 84 needed to adjust comprehensively and 84 were required to adjust area coverage and architecture designs.

In Hoang Mai District alone, out of the 15 approved detailed plans, nine needed to be changed after the examination.

The planning over Nam Trung Yen Urban Area in Cau Giay District had been changed at least eight times. The number of storeys in buildings in the area had increased while land for green space and public facilities had narrowed, which raised population density and caused higher pressure on infrastructure.

When commenting on the planning quality in the city, the department summarised that some approved plans are changed even when they are not actually carried out because of unfeasibility.

There is a big gap between paper plans and real construction works, for example in terms of surface area, number of storeys of buildings, overlapping in land use for the approved projects and public facilities, including green space.

Notably, the frequent adjustments cause conflicts between the original planning and later ones. Moreover, the adjustments tend to bring more benefits to investors.

Head of the council's Legal Affairs Department Nguyen Hoai Nam questioned that in adjustments, more land was allocated to commercial housing projects but rarely found more land for public infrastructure.

Chairman of the Hoang Mai District People's Committee Nguyen Manh Hoang said that planning had yet to match up with real demand. Detail planning, zoning planning and master planning were not in accordance with each other.

He admitted that local authorities were partly responsible for the inefficiency but planning makers did not really consult their opinions.

Head of the urban management division in Cau Giay District Nguyen Dac Tuyen said that the poor planning at the district level was caused by the slow approval of the whole city's planning and zoning.

Director of Ha Noi's Architecture Planning Department Nguyen Van Hai said that the changing legal framework and policies hindered his office from completing regulations over making, appraising and approving planning documents in the city.

These findings from planning examinations by the municipal People's Council are considered to voice public concerns. The supervisory board also urged the city People's Committee to deliver stricter punishment for delayed projects which caused inconveniences for residents. — VNS


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