|Dust and fumes discharged from traffic in Ho Chi Minh City. The country has failed to integrate environmental protection into urban planning, according to the Viet Nam Environment Administration. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan
HA NOI (VNS) — "Viet Nam has failed to integrate environmental protection into urban planning," Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Head of the Viet Nam Environment Administration, said at a forum yesterday.
Rapid urbanisation meant that many cities lacked green space, Dong said, a problem that was intensified by population growth and immigration from rural to urban areas.
Moreover, urban planning programmes neglected the growing problems of waste and fumes discharged from traffic and industrial production.
Given Viet Nam's ostensible goal of creating environmentally sustainable cities, these issues needed to be addressed, the deputy head urged.
The Institute of Science for Environmental Management has introduced six groups of criteria for assessing whether a city is environmentally sustainable.
Relating to water, air, solid waste, green space, efficient energy use and traffic, the criteria aim to help decision-makers issue policies that can balance environmental protection and urban development.
Viet Nam is now home to 750 urban areas. About 30 per cent of its population lives in cities.
Environmental accolades awarded
Fifteen organisations and individuals in the southern province of Binh Duong received certificates of merit yesterday for protecting the environment.
Organisations won four, while two were awarded to residential communities and the rest were presented to leaders of local associations representing women, youth and farmers.
An American man who lives in Di An Town's Dong Hoa Ward was recognised for cleaning Tay A Street every day, setting a good example for local residents.
The awards aim to raise people's awareness about environmental protection, according to vice director of the province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment Ngo Quang Su. — VNS