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Vietnam’s Plans for Smart City Projects

Vietnam Smart City
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Vietnam’s cities and provinces are pushing for smart city programmes and combining technology with internet-connected devices to enhance municipal management and boost the economy.

According to a press release, smart cities and integration based on sensor collection and the analysis of data could drive economic, environmental, and social growth in the country.

Technology solutions can optimise traffic flows in real-time, reduce energy consumption, and automate waste management.

However, despite these benefits, major cities like Ha Noi and HCM City, are facing challenges when it comes to deployment due to city-specific requirements and the need for new policies and regulations from the government and relevant sectors.

Ho Chi Minh City

At the Industry 4.0 summit held earlier, the Deputy Chairman of HCM said the city has been building its smart city project for two years.

He noted that every smart city is different. And HCM should conduct a smart city project suited to the characteristics of it because the application of industry 4.0 will solve city-specific problems.

However, to develop it, he said the city would need an information centre that enables interactions among local authorities, businesses, and people. In which, the State and businesses would be able to use each other’s data, while people could share knowledge and ideas. These interactions must be digital.

To facilitate this, the government should build a legal corridor for data management.

The Deputy Chairman also proposed the government set up a smart city architectural blueprint for all cities and provinces nationwide, ensuring synchronisation.

Ha Noi City

According to the Deputy Chairman of the Ha Noi People’s Committee, the city has started building an e-government and smart city.

It has achieved initial results from the construction of information infrastructure, applying corporate information, State management, and residential data. It is moving towards a smart city model, including smart transport.

He said that Ha Noi lacks smart city standards. The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has developed this content, but it is not yet completed. It should be issued as soon as possible.

Regarding information application, he wanted the government to build software for localities from the central to the grassroots level.

It would be wasteful if each locality researched and developed its own software, as it would cause issues in integration and connectivity. He recommended the corporate management software of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and software to manage drugstore and pharmacies of the Ministry of Health.

Technology solutions are one part of the smart city programme. The city is facing a shortage of skilled human resources.

The general trend of qualified IT staff is moving to work for non-State enterprises, which pay a higher salary.

The Deputy Chairman said the State should have special policies to encourage IT staff to work for the State management agencies, building e-government and smart cities.

According to MIC, smart cities are a driving force for the socio-economic development across the country. Vietnam has over 830 urban areas with an urbanisation rate of 38.6%.

Economic growth in urban areas averages 12-15%, 1.5-2 times higher than the national average. About 30 cities and provinces nationwide have implemented smart urban construction projects.

However, according to MIC the current development of smart cities is still inadequate. Some localities have started deploying some basic applications and services for smart cities. Also, ministries and agencies continue to research and complete building guidelines, mechanisms, and policies for smart cities.

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