The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Council has passed a resolution to merge the Vietnamese city’s eastern districts of 2, 9 and Thu Duc into one administrative unit to create an innovation hub tentatively called Thu Duc city.
Speaking at a People’s Council meeting on Monday, Le Thanh Liem, vice-chairman of the city People’s Committee, said his government would complete the proposal for creating the new city within a city for submission to the Ministry of Home Affairs by October 25.
If approved, the proposal would then be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for approval.
Earlier this month more than 80 per cent of more than 411,000 residents of the three districts voted “yes” to the merger plan, according to local authorities.
Besides, people in Thu Duc and District 9 almost unanimously agreed to the name Thu Duc city, while 76 per cent did so in District 2.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh recently told city authorities to seek advice from foreign experts and investors in the technology, finance and property sectors about plans to create the new city.
The plan should conform to the overall urban plans for the city and the southeastern region, he said further.
To seek ideas for the new city, authorities last year launched a planning contest that was won by an entry by US architecture and design firm Sasaki Associates Inc, which proposed different zones, facilities and development plans with all the elements needed for a smart city and innovation and other features to support the growth of technology and other key industries.
According to the Ministry of Construction, the plan to build a city within a city is “unprecedented” in the country and would require “extensive study”.
The city has established a steering committee headed by People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong to develop a master plan for it.
The plan would include strategies for a knowledge-based economy that promotes investment in urban development and creating a skilled workforce.
The steering committee also plans to develop a centralised urban database with data on land use, transportation, canals, and other works in the three districts.
It will consult both the public and official agencies, and solicit international investment.
Thu Duc city would spread over 211sq km and house more than a million people.
The current Thu Duc district, which measures 48sq km, has a high concentration of educational institutions and research centres and four large universities with more than 100,000 students.
The 50sq km District 2, which includes the Thu Thiem new urban area, will provide international exhibition and financial centres for the new urban area and the city as a whole.
The 114sq km District 9, which includes the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park, would be a hub for research and an incubator for innovative technologies.
The new city is expected to contribute 30 per cent of the city’s economic growth, and four-to-five per cent of the country’s.
HCMC currently accounts for 23 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 30 per cent of government revenues.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK