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Melbourne Welcomes Ho Chi Minh Delegates for Smart Cities Workshop

Smart Cities Workshop in Melbourne
Photo Credit: Swinburne University of Technology

Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology welcomed distinguished delegates from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for an exchange of knowledge on the future of smart cities.

As reported, Vice-Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen led the delegation from the municipal government in Vietnam as they joined Victorian government officials and University experts.

They discussed the social, economic and technological aspects of smart infrastructure and innovative design.

The University’s Lecturer in Interior Architecture, Dr Quoc Phuong Dinh, coordinated the visit with the help of a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Australia-ASEAN Council.

It is part of the Knowledge Exchange for a Smart City: Australia and Vietnam series, which kicked off with a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City in September.

International Collaboration

In partnership with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture, the workshop promoted research consultation with a cross-cultural exchange of experience and knowledge.

There were expert presentations on data design, planning and sustainability in future smart cities, followed by a panel chaired by the University’s Dean (Research and Development) in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Professor Lisa Given.

The discussion focused on urban challenges, smart infrastructure and public influence on data collection, as well as collaboration between Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and Swinburne researchers in the future.

The panellists explored the diverse layers of urbanisation.

This covered topics ranging from considering non-human entities such as animals and natural environments, to the effects of centralising technology on regional populations.

The development of smart cities must not completely abandon the old, cultural character of present architecture.

There is a need to consider the foundations now and integrate them with advancing designs and technology.

It is important to include the elements of the local culture and natural environment with existing fauna and flora.

Future Partnerships

The influence of technology on urbanisation is a key research area at the University and continues to promote international relations through the Smart Cities Research Institute.

Dr Phuong Dinh explained that the experiences and questions raised in the workshop, including better strategies to engage citizens in urban development, bring a mutual understanding of smart city projects currently undertaken in both cities.

The day was an opportunity to connect again and reaffirm the partnership, which will hopefully continue and extend to other government departments under Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Duncan Bentley, shared that Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne are collaborating to create innovative smart cities for rapid population growth and long-term sustainability.

With 13 million people and 27% of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), Ho Chi Minh City is looking to Swinburne’s smart city expertise and Melbourne’s smart city innovation for ideas as it prepares its long-term city plans.

About the Smart Cities Research Institute

The Smart Cities Research Institute seeks innovative approaches to address the challenges facing the world’s fast-growing cities, and exemplifies the University’s mission to create social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation.

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