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UNDP & Da Nang cooperate in building smart and green city

Released at: 14:09, 05/11/2019

UNDP & Da Nang cooperate in building smart and green city

Photo: Viet Tuan

MoU signed to study innovative solutions for the future.

by Doanh Doanh

Representatives of the UN Development Program (UNDP) and Da Nang city signed an MoU on November 4 to build a City Lab together to facilitate the joint learning, exploration, and experimentation of innovative solutions that accelerate the socioeconomic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the city.

“The signing of the MoU is an important milestone in cooperation between the UNDP and Da Nang,” UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Caitlin Wiesen said at the signing ceremony. “The UNDP will mobilize its network and resources to support Da Nang to achieve its ambitions of becoming a smart, green city by 2045, drawing on UNDP’s Accelerator Labs - a network of 60 labs in 78 countries and territories designed to re-imagine development for the 21st century.”

The cooperation between Da Nang and the UNDP will focus on the areas of environment (such as plastic waste) and the application of innovative e-solutions for advancing public administrative services (such as faster learning and acting on citizens’ feedback and concerns, and the application of AI-empowered chatbots in providing public administration services). In the later stages, cooperation will expand to other areas of development and social innovations that the parties will define as necessary and feasible.

To support Da Nang to operationalize the City Lab, UNDP will bring Ms. Gabriella Gomez-Mont, former Founder and Director of the Mexico City Lab, member of the international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul, fellow of MIT, Yale, and Harvard, and one of the 100 most creative people in business, as named by Fast Company magazine. She will provide the city with a more comprehensive picture of City Labs around the world and what might work best for Da Nang.

Regarding the circular economy / waste management focal area of the MoU, the UNDP is working closely with Da Nang’s partners to design the first experiment on waste sorting in Khue Trung ward, Cam Le district. This experiment is expected to offer some useful learning to wider waste sorting plans in the city. The UNDP will also bring a leading team on systemic design from Alberta CoLab, Canada, to work with the Da Nang Department of Natural Resources and Environment on a systemic assessment of waste management to identify leverage points for the near, medium, and long-term future.

The cooperation between the UNDP and Da Nang started in 2010, when the city partnered with the UNDP and the Ministry of Home Affairs on public administration reform to strengthen resource management, salary reform, and the quality of public administrative service delivery via one-stop-shops.

Recently, the UNDP supported Da Nang in the design and implementation of the chatbot initiative to provide real time public service information to the citizens. The chatbot has been applied in different sectors, including land, transport, tourism, and feedback on flooding, and is hoped to be expanded to other areas.

The UNDP will also support the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Da Nang in reducing pollution and preserving environmental flows in the Vu Gia Thu Bon River basin. This is part of a larger regional project that aims at integrated river basin management in ASEAN countries by improving governance and management responsiveness and building capacities in integrated water resources management and reducing pollution in rivers.

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