US urban planning, architecture firm eyes Viet Nam’s burgeoning property market

Monday, May 04, 2020 15:38

James Chew, director of business development (Southeast Asia), JERDE

The rising real estate demand due to Viet Nam’s booming middle class and rapid urbanisation provides a great opportunity for JERDE.

Between 2014 and 2019 the middle class doubled to 33 million, or a third of the population. The number is expected to rise further to 44 million in 2020 and 95 million in 2030.

Viet Nam’s urban population will expand by 3.85 percent annually until 2050, much higher than the Southeast Asian average of 2.1 percent.

Reputed Vietnamese property developers are seeking quality international planning and design firms such as JERDE to differentiate their products from their competitors’.

James Chew, director of business development (Southeast Asia), JERDE, said: “JERDE is still active in the Vietnamese market despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown although re-adjusting the manner in how its staff work.

“Efforts to open the JERDE office would begin as soon as the pandemic situation improves.”

HCM City is developing into a smart city. Its heritage sites could be affected during this process. What advice do you have for the city to preserve its heritage?

On the contrary, heritage sites are better preserved in a smart city. For instance, less car exhaust emissions with electric cars will help preserve the facades of these buildings. In any case, the integration of heritage sites into a smart city is crucial.

The city faces a shortage of green space, causing an urban heat island. What do you think about this phenomenon and how can the city mitigate it?

This is a climate change and sustainability issue and is important for a city. Thermal studies are needed to advise on the real impact, however, we already understand that it is important to implement a ‘green plot ratio’ for the city to ensure better green coverage that provides shading and heat reduction.

What role does placemaking play in the growth of cities in Asia, including Ho Chi Minh City? How does placemaking develop in a city? What benefits does it bring?

Placemaking has an important role in cities all over the world. Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

What are your company’s plans in Viet Nam?

Our goal in Viet Nam is to establish JERDE as one of the premier urban planning and architectural design firms in the country with offices in Hanoi and HCM City. JERDE will be bring its international experience in design and its unique brand of placemaking to Viet Nam, and would be fully licensed to meet all the regulatory requirements.

JERDE is active in the Vietnamese market despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, readjusting the manner in how its staff work. The efforts to set up of a JERDE office will begin as soon as the pandemic situation improves.

JERDE is a visionary urban design studio which creates signature places that deliver memorable experiences and attract more than a billion people each year.

For 40 years JERDE has pioneered the concept of ‘placemaking’ with more than 120 major projects on six continents.

Headquartered in the heart of Los Angeles in the US, each JERDE client works closely with an equity partner to take a boutique, collaborative approach to the creative process of design and architecture.

JERDE places attract people providing lasting social, cultural and economic value, spurring further investment and revitalisation. JERDE is one of only a few architectural firms to win the ULI Global Award for Excellence six times in addition to many of the industry’s other highest honours and recognitions.

JERDE has designed mixed-use, hospitality and retail destinations throughout the world including Langham Place in Hong Kong, Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, D-Cube City in Seoul, and, more recently, the Grand Hyatt SanyaHaitang Bay in Hainan, China, a MIPIM Asia Gold Award winner for Best Hotel & Tourism Development.

In its home country of the United States, JERDE has designed well known sites such as Bellagio in Las Vegas and Pacific City in Huntington Beach and made over the world famous Santa Monica Place and Fashion Island Malls.


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