Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City join World Cities network

Monday, 2017-06-12 18:55:26
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Ambassador - Head of the EU Delegation in Vietnam, Bruno Angelet, speaks at the launching of the World Cities Vietnam project in Hanoi on June 12. (Credit: NDO/Trung Hung)
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NDO – The two largest metropolitan cities of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have officially joined the World Cities network, an initiative launched by the European Union (EU) aimed at promoting the exchange of experience and the best practice on regional and urban development policies between EU and non-EU cities, with a focus on sustainable urban development.

The launch for the World Cities Vietnam: Innovation for Smart and Green Cities project was organised by the EU Delegation to Vietnam, in Hanoi on June 12. Accordingly, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are being paired with two European cities - Milan (Italy) and Kosice (Slovakia), with an aim of cooperating on their similarities in relevant sectors, including urban development, rural-urban partners, and inter-urban cooperation.

The EUR700,000 project, managed by the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) of the European Commission, also runs in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and the Republic of Korea.

Cooperation is based on the identification of pilot cities and the development of concrete actions, for implementation in the short-term, in areas including urban innovation (smart-city) and the use of green technologies (energy efficiency, low carbon development).

Actions will be designed to increase so-called ‘triple-helix cooperation’ between governments, research and business. The project team will support cities involved in the development of concrete action plans for short-term implementation. Its ultimate goal is to strengthen market opportunities and job creation, while pursuing the sustainable economic development of the cities involved, thus fostering win-win cooperation.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ambassador - Head of the EU Delegation in Vietnam, Bruno Angelet, said that urbanisation and urban development issues, especially smart urban development, are happening at a rapid speed around the world, bringing with it important issues to the governments of the cities that need to be addressed in order to meet the requirements of socio-economic development, security and environment.

With the third largest population in Southeast Asia and with a high urban population, Vietnam follows the general trend. The two largest cities in Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are also facing the challenge of sustainable urban development, he said, affirming that both the EU and Vietnam recognise that the sustainable development of cities is a key factor in the promotion of sustainable development around the world.

The EU and its member states are committed to engage with partners around the globe, to expand opportunities for city-to-city cooperation, developing capacities and fostering exchanges of urban solutions and mutual learning to jointly address the challenges of sustainable development in EU’s partner countries overall, the diplomat stressed.

Vo Minh Thanh, Head of the Information Technology Division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications, shared that with the aim of developing the city into a smart, modern and worth living city, its authorities have identified seven breakthrough programmes, of which the city is addressing, with regards to socio-economic and urban development. HCM City is going to implement these seven programmes over the next five years, namely, human resource development, administrative reform, economic development, reduced traffic jams and traffic accidents, reduced flooding, reduced environmental pollution, and urban embellishment.

By utilising science and technology, especially ICT in implementing these seven breakthroughs, HCM City aims to improve the efficiency in its economic development, towards a knowledge-based economy and smart urban development. Participating in the World Cities project will also help to facilitate international cooperation in the relevant areas that are consistent with the future of its smart and sustainable urban development.

Representatives of the partner cities with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also shared solutions that have been deployed, in Milan and Kosice, to promote smart and green urban development cooperation between the two sides, including the development of intelligent transportation systems; IT application and providing utility software in finding destinations and convenient parking location; promoting digitisation of administrative papers; and intelligent urban lighting solutions.