Ha Noi, 26 April 2017-- UN Habitat, OECD and the Viet Nam’s Ministry of Construction recently held a one day Policy Dialogue on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through National Urban Policies.

The event that was supported by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and UNDP was attended by more than 50 policy makers and stakeholders, with the Dialogue session beings opened by Mr. Nguyen Dinh Toan, the Viet Nam Vice Minister of Construction, and Rolf Alter, Director, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD.

Mr. Alter stressed the importance of strong National Urban Policies and stated that “national urban policies are meant to both provide a vision but also are a call for action to ensure that cities are inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable. “
This international dialogue gathered high-level policymakers from relevant ministries on urban policy in Viet Nam (Construction, Planning and Investment, Natural Resource and Environment, Transport, Finance, Internal Affairs, etc.) as well as representatives from German and Japanese governments, in order to exchange views on Viet Nam’s urbanization challenges, policy responses, and good policy practices that could be shared with other countries. The Dialogue considered how Viet Nam can capitalize the unique opportunities the rapid urbanization process brings and what options are available for improving the current urban structure and planning and investment framework of Viet Nam. Furthermore participants discussed what role urban policies can play in achieving national green growth and addressing climate change in Viet Nam.
The afternoon session of the Dialogue brought together key stakeholders involved in the ongoing development of the National Urban Development Strategy (NUDS) for Viet Nam in order to reflect on what they consider to be the most pressing urban issues in Viet Nam and particularly to discuss what role the NUDS is playing in order to address these challenges. Representatives from UN-Habitat, OECD, GGGI, Cities Alliance, and the Asian Development Bank reflected on other ongoing urban initiatives and programmes in Viet Nam, such as the National Urban Development Programme and the National Urban Upgrading Programme, in order to highlight synergies between programmes/processes and to situate the NUDS within the context of these other programmes/processes.
As a flagship project of the National Urban Policy Programme, which was launched last October at Habitat III in Quito, OECD, UN Habitat and GGGI are currently conducting a National Urban Policy Review of Viet Nam. The study analyses the country’s urban structure and development trends in an internationally comparative framework, identifies main challenges that urban and metropolitan areas face in Viet Nam, assesses how current urban policies assist in achieving national environmental and green growth goals, and provides practical policy recommendations, building on existing ongoing international initiatives. The Dialogue session benefited from inputs from experts leading the Policy Review. The final version of the Review will be released in early 2018.
The discussion on National Urban Policies as a tool for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda will continue at the Second International Conference on National Urban Policy, May 15-18, 2017 at the OECD Headquarters in Paris. The Conference will be co-hosted by UN-Habitat and OECD and is supported by Cities Alliance, GGGI, IHS, and UCLG. It serves an important role as an advocacy event, which provides a forum to discuss and debate about National Urban Policy, but importantly, also allows policy makers and other stakeholders to come together and learn from each other’s experiences with NUP – thus providing an environment for peer-to-peer learning and exchange. For more information on the Conference, visit the website here: icnup.urbanpolicyplatform.org.