The government's action plan to achieve Resolution No.06-NQ/TW of the Politburo on planning, building, management, and sustainable development of urban areas in Vietnam until 2030, with a vision to 2045, calls for the establishment of five vibrant urban metropolises by 2045.

By 2045, Vietnam wants to have five metropolises of international stature
The urban area of Hanoi. Photo: Thanh Dat/VNA

Tran Quoc Thai, director of the Urban Development Agency within the Ministry of Construction, stated on November 16 at the seminar “Policies for Urban Development in Vietnam” that one of the major groups of solutions identified in this resolution is to improve policies and procedures to facilitate the urbanisation, planning, construction, management, and sustainable urban development processes.

At the seminar, the National Assembly Law Committee revealed that Vietnam has more than 860 metropolitan areas, and its urbanisation rate is over 40 per cent. The urban economy has risen at a rapid pace, contributing more than 70 per cent of Vietnam's GDP, with the proportion predicted to reach 85 per cent by 2030.

According to a significant number of planners and architects attending the seminar, rapid urbanisation, rising income societal inequalities between rural and urban areas, informal expansion, a lack of basic infrastructure and services, and a shortage of affordable housing have resulted in a variety of problems.

Dr. Nguyen Quang, deputy director of UN-Habitat, said that the complex social issues developing in urban areas demand “a larger strategy, more vertical and horizontal coordination, and relationships to innovation.”

Quang said, “Urbanisation and sustainable urban growth do not occur by chance, but by strategy.” The national urban policy should prioritise “practical priorities” such as the formulation and construction of a sustainable urban framework in both form and density via a compact urban model, the connection of cities via transport corridors, and the promotion of centralised production to take advantage of economies of scale.

The urban policy promotes intersectoral policy coherence regarding cities through the articulation of shared development visions and objectives. The urban policy should play a significant role in national development policies and goals. “In particular, a human rights-based approach, social protection measures, and excellent multi-level governance with an emphasis on participation and inclusion are required,” Quang said.

According to Quang, if Vietnam is to establish cities of international stature, the national urban policy must “decentralise more explicitly to local authorities” in urban planning/management and provide circumstances for the creation of efficient instruments to govern urban growth.

Vietnam has implemented several efforts to address environmental issues and enhance the urban infrastructure for many years. Herve Conan, head of the French Development Agency in Vietnam, said on October 22 while working with Nguyen Thanh Nghi, Minister of Construction, that urban management and development connected with the endurance and adaptability of cities to climate change offer many issues in Vietnam.

According to Conan, Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change owing to its geographical characteristics, with frequent droughts, floods, and coastline retreats increasing its susceptibility.

Source: VIR