A worker waters flowers at 30/4 Park in HCM City. Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said the city would learn from international experience to become a green city by 2045. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phàn
HCM CITY — Green urban planning in HCM City’s inner districts should be based on a long-term vision to avoid wastage of land, reduce pollution and improve people’s living standards, a top city leader has said.
Speaking at an international conference on Wednesday, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, secretary of the City Party Committee, said the city’s urbanisation and population growth rates are high while there is not enough land for greenery.
A number of public parks have been planned for years but have yet to be built due to a lack of funds, he said.
The city has to put greenery projects on the back burner since it has more urgent needs like roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure, he said.
Most of the lands earmarked for the planned parks are inaccessible or empty, with uninhabited houses or factories that are being moved out of the city, or along rivers and canals.
Nhân urged the city authorities to speed up work on the parks and said private sector investment needs to be attracted.
“Urban planning for green space must adapt to climate change.”
Nhân said the city would learn from the international experiences shared at the conference for making greening plans for the next 10 to 25 years and become a green city by 2045.
Võ Văn Hoan, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said in 1997, the Government had approved a greening plan for the city, but the city has not developed detailed plans.
“Park management in the city remains lax.” Property developers often overlook greenery norms to reduce costs, he added.
Chuah Hock Seong, a member of the Board of Director of the National Park of Singapore, spoke about his experience in developing and managing greenery in the world’s greenest country.
Singapore has a long-term strategy for greenery development involving the participation of both the Government and people. When it comes to construction of buildings, Singapore is always focused on green space to better serve its people, he said.
According to the Department of Construction, at the end of last year, the city had 369 parks covering a total area of 491.16 hectares.
Since 2000, the city has only built two new parks, the 21ha Gia Định in Phú Nhuận District and the 9ha 23/9 in District 1.
Most of the city’s parks are in the inner city.
Some districts have no public parks at all, like 9, 2, Thủ Đức, Bình Tân, Nhà Bè, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi and Bình Chánh.
Turning his attention to public lighting, Nhân said the city centre lacks a plan for this, especially decorative lighting, promising an energy-saving lighting scheme for the city centre and each district would be developed soon.
Hundreds of business executives and policymakers participated in the international conference on planning orientations for urban greening, parks and lighting.
Organised by the city People’s Committee, it also sought to assess the current status of parks and other green areas and urban lighting including decorative lighting in the city. — VNS