Hanoi’s master planning aims to meet requirements for sustainable development in the capital city as well as in surrounding areas to make the best of advantages and to raise its role and position, thereby creating a driving force behind urban development from now till 2010, said Ass.Professor and Dr. Le Duc Hai, Head of the Institute of Urban and Rural Planning.

Reporter: Could you brief us about Hanoi’s master planning and give your assessment of the socio-economic development situation in the city?

Mr Hai: Hanoi‘s master planning is being carried out in eight provinces and cities, including Hanoi, Ha Tay, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Ha Nam and Hoa Binh by the Institute of Urban and Rural Planning in coordination with foreign experts. Hanoi is considered a major economic area of the northern key economic region and the Red River Delta which is transforming its economic restructuring in favour of industry and services and currently contributes 15 percent to the country’s GDP.

Hanoi’s agricultural sector plays a key role in providing agricultural products and food for the city. However, it makes only a small proportion (approximately 17 percent) of the city’s GDP. Population density involved in the agricultural sector is 1,600 people/km2 of agricultural land area (640 people/km2 on a national scale). The city is now facing a reduction of agricultural land area as the country is trending towards industrialisation and modernisation. On the other hand, redundant workforces in rural areas have increased pressure of labour and emigration inside and outside Hanoi.

With high foreign investment growth in recent years, municipal industry has developed rapidly and contributed more than 20 percent of total national industrial production value. Hanoi’s industrial development potential is quite advantageous compared to other regions.

The trade and services sectors make up more than 40 percent of the city’s GDP. However, the services sector has shown signs of leveling off in recent years and its growth is lower than GDP growth rate. The city’s tourism development does not match with its potential in culture, history, and traditional craft villages.

Reporter: What are the challenges to Hanoi’s sustainable development? What criteria does the plan devise for the city’s sustainable development?

Mr Hai: There are many challenges for the city’s sustainable development, for example, how to maintain agricultural ecology in the Red River Delta, develop rural areas, generate jobs for rural people while urbanizing the rural areas, and develop surrounding areas to reduce pressure on the urban centre.

To develop sustainably, Hanoi should manage growth, follow plans, combine regional development plans with environment protection, and give investment incentives to developing clean industries.

Industrial establishments must build drainage treatment systems after investing in industrial parks and the construction of industrial parks and factories along highways will be stopped. Industries which have a high propensity for causing environmental pollution must be located far from residential areas.

More land will be reserved for rural production while centres for drainage transfer between industrial parks will be bulit.

Reporter: How will the plan be implemented?

Mr Hai: Plan making and implementing are two different categories. After the plan is approved by authorised administration, it will be implemented by local-level administrations. At first, the steering committee on capital zoning and investment under the management of a Deputy Prime Minister will build a legal framework and manage some regional and national level programes and investment projects, creating momentum for regional development from now till 2010.

The steering committee will also continue to research on expanding Hanoi’s admistrative space. The committee will set up a coordination commission on managing and building the Hanoi area. The commission will function on planning area, implementing regional and national programmes and investment projects, supporting and seeking capital resources and allocating capital among provinces and cities in the area, and building development strategies for key economic sectors, appropriate and suitable policies for addressing harmonious benefits among provinces and cities in the region.

Reporter: Thank you very much.

Source: VOV