City Party Chief awards first prize to U.S. firm in innovation district contest

SGGP

Politburo Member and Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on November 23 awarded the first prize to U.S. Sasaki Associates, Inc., in the international competition on planning initiatives to develop highly interactive innovation district of the city’s eastern area.

HCMC Party Chief Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) talks to delegates at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

HCMC Party Chief Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) talks to delegates at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

The awarding ceremony took place at a conference on orientation for planning initiatives to develop highly interactive innovation district of the eastern area of HCMC, organized by the city People’s Committee.

At the event, the first prize winner underlined the cooperation model among scientists, businesses and the State to build the innovation district, adding the increasingly important role of residential communities to innovation development.

In the innovation district, innovation economics will be the driving force for urban development in the future. In addition, efficient support from higher education institutions and industry is an important aspect to develop innovative economy. The company also mentioned development of some important areas in the innovation district, which include developing Thu Thiem into international financial and technological center and building Rach Chiec sports complex, a hi-tech center and an educational technology center under Vietnam National University HCMC. Aside from that is establishment of Tam Da eco technology center and building of Truong Tho future city.

City Party Chief awards first prize to U.S. firm in innovation district contest ảnh 1 A view of the conference (Photo: SGGP)

Sasaki Associates Company proposed to set up a management agency for innovation district building, this body will operate under the model of a company responsible for developing the project. Three districts in the area need be organized into a single administrative body under urban administration model for coordination of development.

Moreover HCMC should ask to have the mechanism of a special economic zone to lure investment and talents for the innovation district. In economic development, the city should give priority to existing industry groups and build up a strategy on support groups, specifically it should work with hardware makers such as Bosh, Intel and Samsung, develop Fintechf field and software technologies and boost innovation.

City Party Chief awards first prize to U.S. firm in innovation district contest ảnh 2 Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan  (L) gives the first prize to Sasaki Associates, Inc., (Photo: SGGP)

The company noted that building the innovation district should place human and the society in the center, so it requires attendance of the community and individuals in making decisions relating to citizens in the future. Attending building and developing the smart community where residents live will make them improve knowledge and continue contributing to forming the innovation district.

Stating at the conference, Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan appreciated ideas of those participating in the competition, especially the proposal by Sasaki Company which he said very meaningful to the city.

Experts have given initiatives and proposals of economic development, urban development and administrative management which require a suitable government apparatus to manage the eastern innovation district.

City Party Chief awards first prize to U.S. firm in innovation district contest ảnh 3 Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong  (R) awards  the winner representative of the second prize (Photo: SGGP)

According to Mr. Nhan, when building the innovation district, the city will probably integrate three Districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc into one which will be directly under HCMC. Experts have given not only opinions for economic development but also solutions for administrative management. This is a very important premise to HCMC.

He required HCMC People’s Committee to consult suitable ideas in the competition, then supplement and integrate them to draw the last project and build a plan for the innovation district.

Agreeing with six functional areas of the innovation district according to the proposal by the first prize winner, Mr. Nhan suggested paying attention to scattered functional areas. These should be made clear to help answer the question that where residents will be in the innovation district.

He acclaimed the proposals about connectivity by experts and companies such as connected traffic and connected innovation startup centers to create a highly interactive innovation district.

Still the city leader added the need to supplement connectivity between the innovation district and the entire city, the Southeastern region, the country and other cities and nations in the world. That aims to have solutions and policies to attract people from the above mentioned areas to come to work and live in the innovation district.

The highly interactive innovation district in the eastern area of HCMC will be established from Districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc so it requires a corresponding administration apparatus. When this administration apparatus is not established, the innovation district will possibly be under the city People’s Committee. Therefore the committee must supply guidance to ensure that investment in these three districts will be supervised and implemented synchronously, noted secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan.

City Party Chief awards first prize to U.S. firm in innovation district contest ảnh 4 Vice Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee gives consolation prizes to  businesses' representatives (Photo: SGGP)

In the competition for planning initiatives for the innovation district, Sasaki Associates Company won the first prize worth VND4.5 billion (US$194,000). The joint venture between Vietnamese G8A Architecture and Urban Planning Limited Company and Swiss KCAP Architects & Planners got the second prize worth VND2 billion ($86,000).

In addition, four consolation prizes went to Japanese joint venture Nikken Sekkei Research Institute and Eight - Japan Engineering Consultants Inc; AECOM Singapore Pte.Ltd; joint venture Vietnam Institute for Urban and Rural Planning and Belgian Research Urbanism & Architecture; joint venture FCG Finnish Consulting Group Design and Engineering Ltd and Finnish Eriksson Architects Ltd.

By Kieu Phong – Translated by Hai Anh

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