VIETNAM – Planning Hanoi’s Urban Future (Danielle Labbé, ISEAS)

• Vietnam is in the midst of one of the world’s most rapid and intensive rural-to-urban transitions as seen through intensive socio-spatial transformations, demand for new infrastructure and services, and challenges posed by urban population growth.
• Heritage preservation in Hanoi has begun to be taken seriously but remains focused on the Old City to the exclusion of other areas (notably collective housing complexes
and former village areas) and the natural environment.
• Parks and public spaces are urgently needed for such a dense city facing issues of overcrowding, but provision of these spaces has not kept up with the growth of the city.
• The needed growth in transportation has been focused on motor vehicles. There is a recent push to roll out a mass transit system, but even if all goes according to plan, this will take many years to develop. More attention should be paid to making the existing system cleaner and safer in the immediate term.
• Investments into new housing estates have fuelled a speculative real estate market but failed to adequately address the needs of the vulnerable segments of the population.
• Regional integration is a challenge as the city expands and swallows the peri-urban areas surrounding the city.