Vietnam is ready to address some real urban challenges with a range of smart city solutions nationwide.
Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hanoi are actively rushing towards the deadline to commence their pipelined smart cities within the year.
Last week, Lotte Group the developer of Thu Thiem Eco-Smart City, committed to starting the project, proposed over three years ago, in September this year. The smart complex project covering 7.54 hectares, was given the investment certificate with the investment capital of VND 20.1 trillion ($885.5 million), excluding compensation and site clearance expenses.
Roads and infrastructure inside the complex and connecting it with other areas in Thu Thiem will also be constructed under the project.
The Thu Thiem New Urban Area is located on the east bank of the Saigon River, facing District 1, with a total area of 657ha. It is expected to be a new centre of finance commerce and services, along with culture and entertainment, in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meanwhile, in Hanoi, domestic conglomerate BRG also plans to starts its $4 billion smart city located along the Nhat Tan-Noi Bai Road in the west of Hanoi within 2018. This project will be developed by BRG in cooperation with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation. Covering 272ha, the project involves building a smart city with a modern transport system using the latest technology.
Dubbed ‘a worthy city for living’, Da Nang has been chosen by both international and domestic byers for properties, which is why smart city solutions are also in the highest demand.
Even though city authorities have not yet chosen any specific investors for their smart city project, recently the Korean city of Daegu has proposed to build an integrated management centre on green and smart urban management in Da Nang. Accordingly, Daegu would support Da Nang in applying information technology in urban management, disaster prevention, search and rescue, and resilience to climate change.
Previously, Da Nang launched an e-government initiative in 2014, offering free wireless internet services with 20,000 connections to local residents and tourists at major public spaces and streets across the city.
In addition, Da Nang also provided 1,196 online administration procedures including one-stop shops, residential management, public transport, and water supervision through the e-government system.
Other Vietnamese enterprises have also been active in joining the development strategy of building smart cities in Vietnam.
The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) held a competition for innovative urban solutions in Vietnam last November. Three winners received cash prizes and were fast-tracked to the cities acceleration programs to help localize their solutions.
According to Dominic Mello, head of the MBI, as Vietnam has been developing so rapidly and the requirements of urban dwellers are often outpacing the cities’ infrastructure, there has never been a greater need for innovative urban development solutions.
MBI activities are funded by the Asian Development Bank, the Australian government, and various private sector partners in Southeast Asia, focusing on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.