National Urban Policy Review of Viet Nam and Actions

On February 8, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with the Viet Nam Ministry of Construction (MOC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) organized a side event on “National Urban Policy Review of Viet Nam and Actions” at the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The session was attended by 100 participants, including high-level government officials, representatives of international development organizations, experts and scholars. The role of cities in the overall national economic, social and environmental performance is growing more rapidly than ever in Viet Nam. In a country of more than 90 million people, Viet Nam’s urban population has almost doubled since 1990, and it is growing much faster than the average of Southeast Asian countries. Therefore, making well-functioning urban areas is crucial for the country’s sustainable future development.

In 2017, the OECD Urban Policy Review of Viet Nam, in a series launched by the OECD in 2010, has been approved. In the context of fast and highly complexity situation of urbanization in Viet Nam, the review provides an assessment of Viet Nam’s national-level urban development policies and formulates policy recommendations together with experiences of OECD countries. Recommendations in the Urban Policy Review can assist the central government of Viet Nam in achieving its sustainable urban development goals and developing more competitive and inclusive cities. The Review also focuses on how green growth and climate policies could be pursued in the light of the urban and economic growth expected over the coming decades in Viet Nam. This side event launched and shared key outputs of the review. Further, key stakeholders in implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Viet Nam, including representatives of the Viet Nam office of UN Habitat, the Global Green Growth Institute and the Urban Development Agency of Viet Nam: the Ministry of Construction shared innovative efforts, ideas and approaches in promotion of green, inclusive and smart urban development in Viet Nam.

Dr. Tran Quoc Thai, Deputy Director General of the Urban Development Agency said “In the situation where as our urbanization process have reach to a certain level of complexity like the case of Viet Nam with in the global context of climate change, it is very crucial to have a comprehensive and explicit national urban policy to insure the proper development of the national urban system, at the same time promotion for creativeness, ownership and leadership at local level.”

Mr. Adam Ward, GGGI’s Country Representative for Viet Nam identified that “Viet Nam’s cities continue to expand at a rapid rate, driving economic growth but also facing a number of challenges in terms of air quality, impacts from climate change, congestion and waste management. He added that “It is crucial for Viet Nam to implement urban green growth to ensure lasting economic success – GGGI is working with the Ministry of Construction to make this a reality in Viet Nam through policy advice and enabling cities to access the necessary green finance.”

According to Dr. Nguyen Quang – Habitat Programme Manager in Viet Nam, “Viet Nam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific have undergone rapid economic growth in recent years thanks to their leveraging of opportunities that globalization and urbanization have offered and the manipulating of domestic economic models towards exports. Rapid economic growth has lifted million of people out of poverty, and helped many countries register remarkable economic achievements. However, that development can only be sustainable if we solve the challenges posed by limited resources and the problem of climate change. Many countries have begun to pursue new growth strategies to address economic development while still protecting the environment. In September 2012, Viet Nam adopted a National Green Growth Strategy. It proves that we are aware of the importance of exploiting our competitive advantages and increasing economic efficiency through applied research and advanced technology, developing modern infrastructure systems, to efficiently use natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, respond to climate change, contribute to reducing poverty and create the momentum for sustainable economic growth. UN-Habitat would like to work together with the Ministry of Construction and our development partners, to share global experiences and practices on green growth, and to provide cities in Viet Nam a good foundation for their own development strategy to gain access to good financial resources, towards green and circulated economy.”

For more information, please contact Mr. Adam Ward, Country Representative for Viet Nam on