Saigon's 'smart city' plan met with skepticism by locals

By Staff reporters   October 6, 2017 | 09:00 pm PT
Saigon's 'smart city' plan met with skepticism by locals
Ho Chi Minh City has presented a master plan to make itself a 'smart city' by 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong
'Now all we can see is a city filled with floods and trash. There is no vision for a smart city.'

Saigon has rolled out a so-called master plan to turn itself into a "smart city" by 2020, promising a bright future for both local residents and businesses, a move that has immediately raised eyebrows over its feasibility.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, the city's vice chairman, said advanced technology will be used in administration and other areas that have a direct impact on local residents.

“The city will learn from residents' feedback and be proactive rather than just trying to fix existing problems,” he said at a recent meeting.

Locals and businesses will be able to complete administrative procedures online instead of wasting time in governement offices waiting for the final seal of approval.

The plan also promises “advanced tools” for better management that will prevent state officials from causing problems for residents and businesses.

The same solution will be applied in public hospitals, allowing patients to book appointments and services online.

In order to make the plan work, the city will have to spend time building a database on infrastructure, population, and public and private investment.

The city believes that it is following a global trend that can help improve living standards and enhance the city's competitiveness.

Singapore, London, Chicago, New York, Seoul and Hong Kong have already achieved that, it said.

However, the plan has been met with widespread skepticism since it was announced on Friday morning.

Many VnExpress readers have commented that the plan is macroscopic and unfeasible, saying what they need now is a city that does not flood so easily with less traffic jams and trash on the streets.

"Is there any smart city that gets flooded for half a day every time it rains for five minutes?" a reader with nickname thoinay wrote in a comment.

"Traffic gridlock, floods, broken plans. I don't know what kind of 'smart' that is. Sounds so vague to me!", said tuyenk.

"Now all we can see is a city filled with floods and trash. There is no vision for a smart city," said ctnguyen707.

"We don't need a smart city. We just need the floods to go away," said Trump45.

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