Ha Noi will become a modern city by 2030, President of the Viet Nam Urban Planning and Development Association, Tran Ngoc Chinh told the Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper.
What do you think about the architectural changes Ha Noi has undergone since 2008?
The National Assembly's decision to enlarge Ha Noi's administrative border was a step in the process to turn the capital city into the nation's center for politics, economics, culture and international co-operation.
Currently, the city's natural area covers about 3,350 km2 with a population of nearly 7 million people. It has now become one of the world's largest capital cities.
Since 2008, quite a number of new and well furbished urban clusters have been established. Tall buildings and good infrastructure have made the city become more elegant and beautiful.
Can you explain the planned transition towards a civilised and modern city?
Following the capital expansion, the government invited foreign architectural firms to offer their ideas for the Ha Noi Capital Master Plan by 2030 and vision for 2050.
Responding to Viet Nam's request, many foreign firms offered their bids. In July, 2011, the proposal by the international consulting group of Perkins Eastman (USA) and Posco E&C and Jine (South Korea), or PPJ was officially approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Under the PPJ master plan Ha Noi will have a "green corridor", a national administrative centre and four satellite cities.
I should say the PPJ plan has considered factors relating to economic development, demographic changes, the environment and even future projections.
Some people have complained about poor urban management by Ha Noi's authorities. How do you respond to that?
I agree! Thanks to its master plan, Ha Noi is now much more beautiful than it was in the past.
Yet, there remains much to be done. This includes addressing poor urban infrastructure, environmental pollution, traffic congestion and many other challenges.
All these constraints have put pressure on the authorities to take action to improve the situation.
In your opinion, what are the causes behind such problems?
In my opinion, the city doesn't have the money to do sub-region planning and detailed planning.
Our policies sometimes are inconsistent and fail to respond to actual requirements. This is also the case with poor urban management at the central, district/ward or precinct levels.
These constraints are the main causes leading to poor urban management.
What should Ha Noi do to overcome those weaknesses?
There are many things Ha Noi must do, including addressing regulations on the master plan/sub-plan development or detailed plan. Once we have a good master plan or a detailed plan, it is imperative to implement it. In other words, we're living in a society ruled by law.
You are one of many people involved in the process of developing the Ha Noi Master Plan by 2030 and vision for 2050. Do you think the master plan will respond to the city's development requirements?
After having the master plan, the next steps we have to do is to develop the sub-plans and detailed plans for each region/area or each sector. For example, the planning of the transport network, the markets, water supply and so on so forth.
By now I can say that our planning is very weak. It require a good "conductor" to make things running smoothly and harmoniously. As we all know, the work of urban planning and management must always go together.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in implementing Ha Noi's master plan?
I think the overlapping responsibilities between ministries and sectors in urban management are the stumbling blocs for the city's development.
Management skills and competency of government officials at the grass roots level must be improved so that they will be able to perform their duties as required.
And last but not least, government officials, in what ever position they hold, should show professionalism and integrity in dealing with other people in one's work. — VNS