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Last updated: Thursday, July 31, 2014

 

HCM City to Be Greener

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012

 “By 2020, Ho Chi Minh City will have a double urban area from now. South Saigon, Thu Thiem, District 9, Thu Duc and Tay Bac urban zones will be completed. Slum houses will be demonised in downtown areas, on Tau Hu and Te canals,” Mr Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy General Director of Department of Planning and Architecture, HCM City, said when he talked about prospects of current urban construction planning.
Nam said “HCM City is lucky enough to have today steps directed by the Decision 101 of the Ministry of Transport on traffic area study and city general planning towards 2025. This is the basis for the city to develop. Besides, instead of developing a purely industrialised city, we are shifting to develop services.”
 
Could you talk about the look of HCM City in the next years?
The city’s long-term goal is to improve urban infrastructure. This is a key programme of the city.
 
Tay Bac, Thu Thiem and Hiep Phuoc urban zones will be the focal points that change the urban landscape. By 2020, the eastern part will be developed with high-end residential areas, commercial centres, and high-rise buildings and alike along Hanoi Highway. In the downtown, slum houses along Tau Hu and Te canals will no longer exist. The outlook of the city in the next ten years will fundamentally change. Many high-rise buildings will continue to be erected. ‘Golden’ land lots in the downtown will be prettified. Particularly, the city will change the housing mindset. Rented houses will be popular. Housing strategy at that time will be associated with employment. An employment is a guarantee for a house.
 
What did planning bring to HCM City in the past time?
The Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe canal rehabilitation project aims at removing slums and embellishing urban zones. Thousands of slums houses will be cleared and displaced, helping many residents to part away from contaminated channel.
 
Then, Dien Bien Phu Road will be rebuilt, belt roads will be completed; Hanoi Highway will be upgraded; and Dong Tay Boulevard will be completed. These projects give a facelift to the traffic system and create a vast traffic corridor from District 1 to Binh Chanh District. On the urbanisation side, the city advocated expanding southward from 1989 to 1991. The once-uncultivated was turned into the most luxurious and modern Phu My Hung urban zone with a 17-km Nguyen Van Linh Road that connects surrounding urban zones.
 
When the Phu My Hung urban zone took shape, a series of new urban areas were born. In the downtown, the city will embellish and upgrade high-rise buildings along Le Loi and Nguyen Hue roads. It will also boldly invest in high-level buildings to create focal points for central business districts.
 
The shape of the city has been planned but will it be easily done?
The solutions we put forth are to direct the development. But, controlling implementation and development planning for a better face of the city is a big matter. The management and inspection of investors’ capacity to harmonise the interests of such investors with the interests of the public require determinations of the whole government system.
 
Besides, how to have multi-sector and synchronous coordination is not an easy question to answer. Currently, each department or agency has its own authority, thus complicating general administration and management. On the other hand, in the past three decades, the population of Ho Chi Minh City nearly doubled, the economy expanded many folds, urban zones were expanded but administrative apparatus had not increased much in size and management level. That is what we need to pay first attention when we carry out the planning.
 
Wider green space
According to the Ho Chi Minh City planning towards 2025, the old downtown will limit the population at 4 - 4.5 million people. The city will re-plan streets, clear slum houses along canals and streets, and relocate production establishments causing environmental pollution. Ecological areas will be strictly preserved, including 75,000-ha Can Gio mangrove forest, protection forests, 2,250-ha Cu Chi special forest, 1,500-ha Binh Chanh forest. In old central business districts, the city will maintain and renovate parks and green areas covering 200 ha; make use of reallocated ports, industrial parks and factories to increase green areas to 250 ha. It will plant trees along the Saigon, Dong Nai and Nha Be rivers, making a green area of approximately 7.000 ha, and invest and form three green-space ecological belts (2,000 - 3,000 metres wide) attached to agricultural development.

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