Hanoi, 26 August 2015— Top planning experts, representatives from National Assembly committees, ministries, central and local departments, research institutes, universities, civic organisations and NGOs met in Hanoi for a workshop titled ‘Drafting of the Planning Bill – International best practices and suggestions for Vietnam’.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in conjunction with the National Assembly’s Economics Committee, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Cities Alliance (CA) organised the workshop which looked at the contents of the MPI’s Draft Planning Bill and provided an additional opportunity to add to its contents.
During the transition to a market economy and increased international integration, Vietnam recorded some impressive achievements in socio-economic development, improving living standards and transitioning to becoming a middle-income country. However, Vietnam also has to face challenges from unsustainable urbanisation, environmental degradation, ineffective management of resources and the increased gap between the rich and the poor, while coping with the impact of global climate change. These challenges, as well as low quality, inconsistent, overlapping, poorly-managed and implemented approaches to planning have increased the need for improved planning solutions.
Experts had ample opportunity to share international trends in planning, international best practice on land planning, and practical lessons from Australia, the United States and South Korea as examples that might provide inspiration to Vietnam’s own planning approach.
Mr. Vu Quang Cac, Director of Department of Planning Management, Ministry of Planning and Investment said “From international experiences, we see that integrated planning is the right choice for Vietnam, it means we can find the best solutions, and see the largest benefits from what are finite resources”.
In pursuit for Sustainable Development
Participants also had opportunities for further discussion on plan management and implementation, as well as the development of co-operative mechanisms, and institutional frameworks and management systems.
“Vietnam is undergoing major changes in the shift to a market economy and its pursuit of sustainable development. But there are still some remnants of centralised planning, and the ‘ask/give’ mechanism. Planning is an important tool to realise state strategies and facilitate a transparent and effective market. Consequently, we have to revamp planning development and implementation, clarify the intervention and facilitation role of the government, develop clear decentralised and co-operative mechanisms, facilitate involvement by stakeholders toward developments and social inclusiveness, sustainable economic growth and environmental protection”, Mr. Nguyen Quang, UN-Habitat Habitat Programme Manager for Vietnam said.
“Planning renovation is a continuous improvement process. The Draft of Planning Bill is a first step in this process. In my opinion this draft bill is the most important initiative for planning reform that I have experienced in my 20-plus years working as an urban planner in Vietnam, especially if it is recognised as the catalyst for the on-going reform of the country’s entire development planning and management system,” said Lawrie Wilson, The Director of International Project of Hansen Partnership Pty.