Urban planning essential for Hanoi to realize economic potential: Experts

Effective urban planning would help Hanoi better utilize urban economic models for sustainable development.

Assessing that economic activities in Hanoi's urban areas have not fulfilled the role of a driving force for growth in recent years, experts suggest more effective urban planning for the capital city to achieve economic advances.

A corner from the West of Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung

According to Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Son from the National Economics University, urban planning, and urban economic development are closely related.

“Any process of urban planning and construction should take into account objectives for urban economic development, and vice versa,” Son told The Hanoi Times.

However, such an issue has not been fully addressed by the local authorities, said Son, referring to the lack of optimization of spaces for development during the urban planning process and the effective utilization of urban economic models, including night-, sharing-, or circular economy.

"The lack of planning is evidenced by the location of many businesses and night services in residential areas, causing inconvenience for locals in surrounding areas," it added.

Son asked local authorities to embark on planning for the nightly economic areas so that they are not far from the city center, and do not affect the lives of the locals either.

Meanwhile, the inconsistency in the planning has also resulted in the lack of entertainment activities on pedestrian areas which are often encroached by street vendors.

Sharing the view, Chairman of Dong Da District People’s Committee Le Tuan Dinh said the locality has seen a significant transformation over the years with investments in shopping malls, chains of supermarkets, convenience stores, or the development of streets specialized in selling luxurious items.

Dinh said the economic potential, however, remains huge, with the district being home to over 14,000 private companies, 11,000 household businesses, and nearly 200 foreign-invested companies.

“Planning is key to further improve transport infrastructure and urban renovation,” Dinh told The Hanoi Times.

Dinh stressed the necessity to have effective urban planning that would help mobilize more resources for development, as well as the formation of new and unique business models in urban areas.

Planning a step ahead

According to experts, urban planning and management are essential to provide the platform for urban economic development.

Vice President of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association (VUPDA) Dao Ngoc Nghiem said Hanoi is in the process of drafting overall planning for Hanoi in the 2021-2030 period, which integrates planning from different economic sectors.

“This is a positive change going forward. An integrated planning process would allow Hanoi to have a broader view in identifying priorities for growth, and step by step realize the city’s potential in urban economic development,” Nghiem told The Hanoi Times.

Former Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Council Le Van Hoat expected Hanoi to focus on the planning of urban transport infrastructure, especially those boosting connectivity within the capital area, public transport, transit hubs, and parking lots.

Former Vice President of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Tran Kim Chung added a key task in this process would be to ensure sufficient allocation of land funds.

“Planning is the prerequisite for Hanoi to have the adequate land funds to support economic development,” he told The Hanoi Times.

Hanoi Times

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