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HCM City mindful of importance of urban planning: seminar

Update: October, 31/2018 - 09:00
Urban planning is one of the most important factors in HCM City’s socio-economic development. -- VNS Photo Hoàng Nam
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Urban planning is one of the most important factors in HCM City’s socio-economic development and has always received special attention from authorities, a seminar heard yesterday.

“HCM City has been facing many challenges to urban development like population increase, flooding, traffic congestion, environmental pollution, land subsidence,” Nguyễn Thanh Nhã, director of the city Department of Planning and Architect said in his opening speech at “HCM City Urban Planning: Current Situation and Investment Opportunities”.

In HCM City 17.8 per cent of the land area will be inundated if the sea level rises by 100cm.

“Related authorities must have strategies to manage flooding and develop the city adapting to climate change," he said.

His department would continue to renovate the downtown and connect it with the new urban area of Thủ Thiêm and expand public transport.

“Land usage, population and housing will be properly planned. The city will be linked closely with neighbouring cities.”

Michel Fanni, planning and architecture, urban improvement and development director of Marne la Vallee, a satellite urban area in Paris, said in 1965 the French capital had the same traffic problems as HCM City.

“To improve the situation requires strong political will.

“Next a comprehensive urban development strategy must be developed with flexible management to attract investors.”

Hoàng Tùng, deputy director of the Planning and Architect Department, said the most difficult task in planning was ensuring the active participation of various stakeholders.

“In future our department will take more planning information to the public and create more forums to get feedback from the public, enterprises, experts, and scientists.

“The department would like to apply information technology in planning to catch up with changes in the field.

“Humans play an important part in smart cities and technology is the connection. If we lack effective policies to update precise information, everything will collapse.

“Building a common database will need time but it is a very important task and all related authorities must join to provide information, receive feedback, improve improper management.”

Fanni agreed: “Planning needs strong collective intelligence with many experts in various fields to solve a problem together.

“Technology is only a part of smart cities.”

KC Ho, ASEAN representative of AutoDesk, said: “If planning is to successful, 80 per cent should come from humans, 10 per cent from policies and 10 per cent from technology.

“In moving towards digital technologies, Việt Nam needs more collaboration between relevant authorities. This is a very common situation in many countries, not only Việt Nam, because each authority has different tasks, different visions.”

The Department of Planning and Investment also announced a list of public-private partnership (PPP) projects seeking investment, including nearly 4,000 apartments for an urban renovation programme, the 9,000ha North-West Urban Area and a 14km road from District 4 to link Hiệp Phước Port Urban in Nhà Bè District.

The total projected requirement for the projects is VNĐ17.5 trillion ($761 million).

“The city budget can only provide 12 per cent of the VNĐ816 trillion ($35 billion) needed for four urgent programmes: anti-flooding, easing traffic congestion, preventing environmental pollution, and urban renovation,” Nguyễn Hồng Văn from the department said. — VNS

The Thủ Thiêm new urban area in HCM City. The city faces many challenges to urban development. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhựt

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