HCMC urban planning to focus on climate change adaptation

By Huu Cong   September 16, 2021 | 04:17 pm PT
HCMC urban planning to focus on climate change adaptation
Part of the Bui Vien Street in HCMC's District 1 is flooded after a heavy rain, October 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
For the next few decades, HCMC's urban planning will focus on adapting to the impacts of climate change, including floods and rising sea levels.

A decision on the city's urban planning until 2040 with vision until 2060, signed Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, anticipates the city's population to increase to 13-14 million and estimates the area of land available for urban development at 100,000-110,000 ha.

As Vietnam's economic powerhouse and technological frontrunner, HCMC plays an important role in the nation's urban development strategy.

The plan envisages gradual completion of infrastructure that connects the metropolis with neighboring localities and the development of Thu Duc as an innovative city model that spearheads development of HCMC as well as the southern region.

The decision mentions that the southern city would need to integrate urban development with transit-oriented development, including underground-based public transport solutions. Such a plan would effectively utilize its natural conditions and ecosystems to develop the city economically and socio-culturally while protecting the environment and adapting to climate change, it says.

It assigns the HCMC People's Committee with the responsibility of allocating funds and approving budgets for urban planning, as well as cooperating with relevant authorities to create a project to direct the city's urban planning until 2040 with vision until 2060. The project would have to be formulated in 15 months.

Ho Chi Minh City, which has 13 million residents including migrants, has suffered chronic flooding for more than two decades now. The city's development plan before 1975 was designed for around two million residents and subsequent urban development, including infrastructure construction, has failed to keep pace with the burgeoning population.

Several environmental studies have warned that parts of the southern metropolis and the Mekong Delta would be underwater if sea levels rise and climate change impacts continue unchecked.

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