Belgium to support Viet Nam in urban planning

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 15:49

Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, makes a speech at the seminar. — VNS Photo Phuong Thao

Belgium and its Flanders region are keen to cooperate with Viet Nam and the capital city of Ha Noi to strengthen global partnership in the field of urbanisation.

This was said by Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, at a seminar held in Ha Noi on Monday. He believed the pace of urbanisation was growing significantly, especially in Asia, and that Viet Nam was no exception.

The seminar was organised by Flanders Investment and Trade and the People’s Committee of Ha Noi to showcase best practices and case studies from Belgium in the urban and environmental sectors as well as strengthen cooperation between Flandersand Viet Nam in those fields.

Belgium has been a global leader in environmental technology for 50 years. It is particularly known for its advanced expertise in the field of water and waste management and, more recently, in the field of resource innovation and renewable energy solutions.

The fast pace of urbanisation offers opportunities as well as challenges; therefore, urban governments need long-term development plans, which are more intelligent and effective. As for the government, the policies should be people-centric, respecting human rights and interests, Geert suggested.

According to Ngo Van Quy, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Ha Noi, urbanisation of the capital city is facing many challenges in terms of population distribution and traffic congestion.

In addition to urban expansion and economic development, Ha Noi is applying science and information technology to build a smart city with sustainable planning, Quy said.

He emphasised that building a smart city required the participation of the Government, businesses and citizens as well as international co-operation. In this context, he highly appreciated the experience that the Flanders region had shared with Ha Noi and the country in general.

Regarding immediate solutions for Ha Noi’s urban planning, Leo Van Broeck, government architect of Flanders, told Viet Nam News that the capital city’s authorities should focus on offering affordable housing to its residents to reduce mobility, which will in turn decrease traffic congestion and environmental pollution in the city. In addition to this, localities should develop more public spaces with greenery, especially for children, Broeck said.— VNS

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