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Vietnam keen on "Smart Cities" development

Released at: 14:03, 28/09/2017

Vietnam keen on "Smart Cities" development

Photo: Siemens

September 27 conference in Hanoi hears that Vietnam has determined that the development of "smart cities" is the right direction to take.

by Linh San

Vietnam has identified the development of smart cities as the best choice and in alignment with the global mega-trend, a representative from the Ministry of Trade told the “Smart Cities” business conference in Hanoi on September 27. The event was the last in a series of thought leadership events on emerging topics in Vietnam, initiated and co-organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the German Embassy in Vietnam, and Siemens.

“The government has paid a lot of attention to the ongoing urbanization process,” a representative from MoIT said. “We clearly understand the role and importance of urban centers in supporting the integration of Vietnam’s economy into the global economy as well as in promoting sustainable growth in the region. We believe smart urban technologies are essential to supporting economic growth while also keeping the ecological, infrastructural, and social impacts associated with continuing urbanization under control.”

The event attracted more than a hundred delegates, including senior government policy and decision makers, business leaders, specialists, and the media, who discussed emerging challenges and solutions for the development of smart and sustainable cities in Vietnam.

Participants had the opportunity to hear senior representatives from the government share useful information on Vietnam’s urban master planning development. They also received an update on technological solutions already available to support Vietnam on its way to developing sustainable and smart cities. At the same time, they were involved in panel discussions and open dialogues with respected panelists from the Ministry of Construction, EVN Hanoi, the Viettel Group, and Siemens.

“Digitalization will fundamentally change the way we live and work in our cities,” said Mr. Jörg Rüger, First Secretary for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Urban Development at the Germany Embassy in Hanoi. “Smart cities are not an end in itself. Instead, it is intended to serve the sustainability goals at all levels, be it social, ecological or economic. With the New Urban Agenda, the United Nations is setting worldwide standards for urban development, thereby putting the needs of people at the center of action.”

“We understand very well the challenges that Vietnam is facing and we are working with cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on new city districts and urban mobility options to help overcome these challenges,” said Siemens Vietnam President and CEO Thai-Lai Pham. “We have a unique digital offering for the infrastructure needs of a city. We are working directly with the city to ensure that digital technologies are integrated into planning so it benefits immediately by reducing congestion, improving air quality, and increasing energy reliability. Providing cities with the best possible products, solutions, and services is a strategically important task for Siemens. We are very excited to help make cities in Vietnam smarter, thus becoming more livable and sustainable.”

People now live in an age of urbanization. More than half of the world’s population already live in cities and millions more migrate from rural environments each year. The latest UN forecast predicts that 70 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. At that point, the world’s total urban population will be almost equal to the globe’s entire population today. This trend will also lead to the rise of more and more megacities; cities that have more than 10 million inhabitants. While there were 28 megacities in 2014, there are expected to be 41 by 2030. Smaller cities are also expected to grow considerably. In 2016 there were about 500 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, and by 2030 there could well be more than 650.

The vigorous development of cities presents decision makers and urban planners with enormous infrastructure challenges. Not only is it important to guarantee a high quality of life for city dwellers but metropolises must remain economically competitive and resources handled responsibly.

The good news is that cities can become healthier, more comfortable, and more relaxed. But to accomplish this, they will need to become much more efficient. In short: smarter.

Vietnam is also facing many challenges as a result of booming cities and vigorous urbanization countrywide. The country is also in major need of promoting smart cities, as many cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are struggling to cope with overstretched infrastructure.

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