|Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street in HCM City’s Bình Thạnh District is flooded after heavy rains recently. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh|
HCM CITY — Experts have called on HCM City to improve urban planning to mitigate pressing problems like flooding and traffic congestion.
“Poorly planned urban development” is to blame for the many problems faced by the country’s largest city, they said.
Urban development can change the environment through, for example, expanding paved areas and preventing rainwater from being absorbed by the soil, increasing flooding, especially in low-lying areas, they pointed out.
Architect Ngô Viết Nam Sơn said the growing concentration of people and construction works are among the causes of the city’s congestion and flooding.
“The city has focused too much urban development in its inner areas,” he said.
It needs to develop clusters of urban areas instead of focusing too much on the downtown, he said.
“The lack of green spaces and water bodies is another cause.”
For instance, poor solid-waste management could block rainwater and sewage drains, leading to waterlogging and flooding, he said.
The city should reduce the density of social infrastructure in its central areas and increase green spaces and water bodies there, he said.
He also said underground spaces in the central area require reservoirs to store rainwater to prevent flooding.
Dr Hồ Long Phi said it is important to improve the capacity of the sewer system, create reservoirs to store rainwater and dredge canals to keep tides low.
“But the cost of anti-flood works is so high that the city cannot afford it and it requires private investment.”
The poor regulation of construction of apartment buildings and inadequate waste management could be another reason for flooding, he said.
It should be made mandatory for property developers to increase green spaces and water surface areas to increase water storage and drainage capacity to prevent flooding, he added.
Major traffic works
An official from the city Department of Transport said work on major traffic works would be sped up to address congestion, including Ring Roads 2, 3 and 4, and metro line Nos 1 and 2.
It would soon open the HCM City – Mộc Bài Expressway, expand the HCM City - Trung Lương and HCM City - Long Thành – Dầu Giây expressways and build the HCM City – Thủ Dầu Một - Chơn Thành Highway, he said.
It would widen National Highways 1, 50 and 13 and build a number of new bridges such as Rạch Đôi, Thủ Thiêm 3 and 4, Bình Quới, Cần Giờ, Phú Xuân 2B, Cát Lái, and Trường Phước, he added.
To address flooding, the city plans to soon begin work on the third phase of a project to improve the Bến Nghé - Tàu Hũ - Ðôi - Tẻ Canal water environment, improve the drainage and wastewater networks and begin climate change mitigation works in the west.
It will renovate seven main drainage systems at canals such as Bà Tiếng, Xóm Củi, Bà Lớn, Thủ Ðào, Ông Bé, and Thầy Tiêu.
It will also speed up the first phase of a VNĐ10 trillion project to tackle flooding caused by high tides. — VNS