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Party may turn urban areas into smart cities

Update: August, 29/2015 - 08:49

Viet Nam should turn its urban areas into smart cities to improve economic efficiency and quality of life. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam should turn its urban areas into smart cities to improve economic efficiency and quality of life, Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Chairman Nguyen Thien Nhan said yesterday.

Nhan spoke at a conference on smart city development held in Ha Noi yesterday. He said the nation's cities were building more advanced models, aiming to use new technology and increase development.

Smart cities are, generally, more modern. They utilise the most advanced information technology available to improve the lives of citizens and boost the economy. They also give citizens more opportunities to supervise their Government by using data from the community to gather feedback and input on policies and services.

But before smart cities could be built in Viet Nam, the country needed to solve a few problems, Nhan said. Population growth had created environmental, health, traffic and housing hurdles. Overloaded infrastructure, competition among cities and regions, and people's increasing demands for better quality of life needed to be addressed.

Working in Viet Nam's favour, though, is the fact that a high percentage of people use the internet: 43.8 per cent last year, which is 9 per cent higher than the Asian average and 1.6 per cent higher than the world's average. The country has also used IT to manage State and social affairs, which has put it on the right track, he said.

Viet Nam has nearly 14,000 IT companies with 500,000 employees. The nation's e-commerce turnover last year totalled about US$2.9 billion.

Many countries have made their cities "smart," including South Korea and many EU countries. Last year Singapore announced it would turn itself into a "smart nation," while India said it would build 100 new smart cities.

Nhan said delegates from Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the US would share their experiences building smart cities and suggest challenges Viet Nam would have to face in the process. — VNS

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