The Hanoitimes - The Vietnamese translation of the Eco2 Cities book was released in Hanoi on June 8, which explains in detail the concepts and strategies of the World Bank’s Eco2 Cities program.
Vietnam is one of the first countries to begin work with the new Eco2 Cities program, which supports cities and metropolitan regions in planning, managing and investing in sustainable urban systems that are integrated, multifunctional and beneficial in the long term.
Rapidly growing cities driven by a vibrant economy are transforming the urban landscape in Vietnam , providing an excellent opportunity for the country to ensure that the changes lead to real and lasting improvements in quality of life, and to urban development that is both inclusive and sustainable.
“Cities in Vietnam have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a rich cultural and social fabric. They are also endowed with valuable ecological and natural systems,” said Arish Dastur, who is the co-team leader of the Eco2 Cities program, and one of the principal authors of the Eco2 Cities book.
“We hope that the Eco2 Cities program can help support a development process that reinforces and enhances these multiple aspects of Vietnamese cities,” he said.
Ho Chi Minh City and Haiphong have been the first two cities in Vietnam to take on elements of the Eco2 Cities approach.
“With strong support from the People’s Committee and the Departments of Construction and Transport, we have introduced innovative planning approaches that are resulting in integrated urban design, land use and transportation strategies that will enhance both the quality of life and economic competitiveness in these cities,” said Andre Bald, a Senior Infrastructure Specialist with the World Bank, who is managing the Eco2 Cities work in Vietnam.
Two years ago, Ho Chi Minh City hosted the East Asia and Pacific regional Eco2 Cities workshop, which generated the momentum for this work. The workshop brought together high level officials from key national ministries in Vietnam , Indonesia , the Philippines and Laos . It also brought together some of the leaders and practitioners from different cities in these countries.
“ Vietnam has been a strong proponent of this approach since the beginning. The Ministry of Construction as well as the Vietnam Institute of Architecture, Urban and Rural Planning have provided proactive and valuable support from the national level,” said Mr Victor Vergara, the World Bank’s Urban Practice Leader for the East Asia and Pacific Region.
“At the same time, cities like Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh have shown solid local initiative. We hope to further build on this great energy in the years to come.”