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Enhancing Smart City Development in Vietnam

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Over 40 cities and provinces in Vietnam have smart city operation centres. However, according to experts, the urban development progress has been insufficient, and training programmes must be improved to enhance future management.

The deputy director of the Academy of Managers for Construction and Cities (AMC), Luu Duc Minh, emphasised that the objective of smart city development should not only be measured by the number of criteria fulfilled but rather by its impact on improving the quality of life for the people.

The fundamental essence of sustainable cities, as outlined in Politburo’s Resolution 06, lies in fostering development that aligns with green growth and climate change response. The resolution, which focuses on the planning, construction, management, and sustainable development of urban areas in Vietnam until 2030, was officially issued in January 2022.

Minh stated that for cities to truly become “smart,” it is crucial for management at all levels to adopt the right perspective and proactively tackle the prevailing urban challenges. He cited examples to illustrate that urbanisation necessitates addressing challenges including issues related to housing, urban planning, water drainage, traffic management, and waste treatment.

To effectively tackle these challenges, measures should be implemented in conjunction with appropriate and comprehensive investments and construction efforts. By doing so, not only can the quality of urban areas be improved, but it will also elevate the overall quality of life for the residents.

Under the Ministry of Construction (MoC), AMC has been actively collaborating with other departments to establish a professional centre, that will promote research and training in the fields of smart cities and advanced construction technology.

The initiative is part of a cooperation project between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK), which MoC envisions will play a significant role in fulfilling the Party’s directions and policies to develop sustainable smart cities by 2030.

Four key factors that AMC is focusing its training programmes on include the overview of smart city and its development management; Party direction and the state laws on building and developing smart cities; smart city standards and indexes; and the components of smart city development. These training programmes specifically target public officers, equipping them with the necessary expertise to offer consultancy services to their respective localities regarding their smart city development projects.

To improve the training programmes, Nguyen Hong Tien, the former head of the Urban Infrastructure Agency, suggested they should be concentrated and restructured into distinct categories, such as smart city database management, planning, and operations.

The curriculum should also outline the specific steps involved in building a smart city. This approach would enable learners to gain a comprehensive understanding of the necessary actions and milestones to be accomplished throughout the city’s developmental journey. By providing clear and structured guidance, these training programmes can better equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively contribute to the realisation of smart city initiatives.

The subjects taught should be arranged in order of priority, with smart city criteria included right in the planning process for optimal results. A representative from the Hanoi Architectural University discussed the need for the programmes to identify and allocate resources effectively. This includes identifying and nurturing human resources and securing necessary capital from various investment sources. Training programmes should also utilise multiple tools in smart city development.

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