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Low buildings should make way for public transport, greenery in HCMC: experts

By Ha An   March 17, 2021 | 11:00 pm PT
Low buildings should make way for public transport, greenery in HCMC: experts
Buildings in downtown HCMC, August 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC should opt for more skyscrapers to make way for public transport and trees, according to a member of the HCMC Traffic and Urban Advisory Council.

Speaking at a conference on HCMC urban planning for until 2040 organized by the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture on Wednesday, Luong Hoai Nam said the city is over 2,100 square kilometers, or three times that of Singapore while its population is only 50 percent higher.

However, the island has around 4.89 km of roads for every square kilometer, while HCMC has only 2.1 km, he said.

"Tree coverage in Singapore is large. If you take a photograph from up high, all you will see is green. In HCMC, you can only see houses and few trees."

HCMC’s urban planning needs to shift to a more modern and environment-friendly model like Singapore within the next few decades, he said.

"The city needs to adopt a model of skyscrapers and develop public transport like Tokyo, Seoul or Shanghai."

Nguyen Minh Hoa, former head of the urban planning faculty at the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said Singapore has been doing urban planning well by setting clear goals for a long time: a focus on a service-driven economy and a green environment.

HCMC could emulate Singapore by reducing the number of low buildings, he said. By 2060 its population seems set to reach 16 million, burdening traffic and infrastructure, but it should work on keeping that figure down to not more than 12 million, he said.

The government has told the city to draft urban plans for until 2040 for completing the infrastructure necessary to link up with neighboring cities and provinces and developing its newly created Thu Duc City into an "innovative urban model" that would drive both the city and region's growth.

They are expected to be completed and submitted to the city People's Committee this month before it is considered by the Ministry of Construction and finally submitted to the government, according to the department.

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