HCMC faces challenges on building “smart city”

Ho Chi Minh City administration is determined to build the southern Vietnamese metropolis into a smart city; however, authorities are facing challenges such as increased population, overloaded infrastructure, tattered urban spaces and climate changes.

These matters were discussed at the seminar themed “Urban Management, Renewal and Development” in last week.

Construction Minister Pham Hong Ha said that urbanization speed in HCMC has been too fast, municipal administration has renewed and upgraded the city by reviving “black” canals such as Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe, Tan Hoa-Lo Gom.

The gloomy picture of slums clinging along the stinking, stagnant water flow is now replaced by high-rise apartment and office buildings and modern houses, he said.

People who lived along Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal never dared to believe that they would see its green surroundings with clean water one day. He added

Other major constructions were also invested in a bid to push the city’s socio-economic growth in particular and the country’s in general.

Yet, the city is additionally facing difficulties including increased population, encroachment of canals and rivers to build houses and planning without long-term vision.

City People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that for years, the city mainly invested in urban renewal, removing houses along canals and building new condos on the areas of old one as well as constructing new social apartments. City administration strives to remove all 20,000 households on the canals to new shelters and build more condos; it needs the consensus of all people.

Tran Hoang Ngan, a popular economic expert and headmaster of the Ho Chi Minh City Cadre Academy, said that the city has proposed the government to allow the city applying some special policies to call for private contribution to investment, urban renewal and development.

Chairman of the city's Real Estate Association Le Hoang Chau said that in addition to special policies to call for social contribution for the municipal growth, the administration should speed up formality to choose investors for realty projects to replace old condos by new ones and offer favorite conditions to investors who can transfer projects to help the property market’s recovery and transparent growth.

Expert of the city’s Institute for Development Studies Professor  Nguyen Trong Hoa said that the administration should divided the city into many areas for easier management of urban growth and adopt more plans  for the whole city development.

By Tra Giang - Translated by Anh Quan

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