VietNamNet Bridge – The issue of developing smart urban areas in Vietnam was first put forward 5-6 years ago. However, no considerable progress has been made so far.
According to the Ministry of Construction, Vietnam is witnessing a very rapid urbanization process with 800 urban areas having set up, where 25 million people reside. It is expected that by 2040, the total urban area would be ten folds bigger than now.
This means that a lot of problems would arise during the urbanization process, relating to the transport, healthcare, electricity and water supply. The only solution to settle the problems is creating smart urban areas by utilizing information technology solutions and other high technologies in order to effectively manage the power use, transport and security, entertainment, healthcare and education.
This means that Internet connections must exist in all the fields, so as people can use convenient services, while the localities can set up effective remote control over the works in their localities. When the requirements can be satisfied, Vietnam would have smart urban areas.
Experts have affirmed that the technological conditions for Vietnam to develop smart urban areas are “at hand”, when a lot of foreign and domestic conglomerates such as Cisco, IBM, Ericsson, Intel or Bkav Smarthome have continuously launched new solutions to the market.
IBM, for example, has introduced the solutions relating to the clean water supply, food and transport. Meanwhile, Swedish Ericsson provides the solutions marching towards the electronic healthcare system in Vietnam. Bkav SmartHome has launched the solutions targeting households, individuals, allowing users to operate their power, water systems, air conditioners and light at their home from a distance.
Do Tu Lan, Head of the Urban Development Department under the Ministry of Construction, said that South Korean Songdo, Incheon or Chinese Shanghai free economic zones and Malaysian Shah Alam could be the models for Vietnam to consider when developing smart urban areas.
Still in the infant development stage
According to Nguyen Van Lang, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Head of the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park Management Board, developing smart urban areas with some pilot projects was mentioned in 2008 already.
In 2008, the project on a smart urban area in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park with Japanese capital was draws up. Meanwhile, Da Nang City has been team up with Cisco, IBM and Intel to build up smart urban areas with e-government since 2008 and provide the apps allowing local people registering their business, or registering transport means via Internet.
In March 2012, Thai Nguyen province in the north decided to join hands with a South Korean enterprise to build up a smart urban area in Yen Binh urban area project, about 1035 hectares. The project would be implemented with the ODA (official development assistance) capital worth 3.5 million dollars from South Korea.
Meanwhile, thousands of high rise building projects in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City also plan to utilize information technology solutions to better manage the infrastructure and provide services to the buildings.
However, experts have pointed out that smart urban areas have been developing just in a spontaneous way. High rise buildings and new urban areas have been booming in recent years, but most of them are not “Smart ones”, according to Pham Kim Son, Director of the Da Nang City’s Information and Communication Department.
Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam has admitted that Vietnam is still at the very beginning in the process of developing smart urban areas. However, he believes that it’s now the right time for management agencies to step by step require investors to apply some standards of smart urban areas for their projects.
Source: Buu Dien