During a recent seminar, Nguyen Van Nen, head of the province’s People’s Committee, said foreign experts would provide advice on how to proceed to build environmentally friendly cities.
Monty Tejam, Foundation of the Future’s chief architect, told conference attendees that he was honoured to participate in the design of one of the first eco-cities in Viet Nam and was planning another in Long An Province.
The province houses the first eco-industrial park in Viet Nam, which was renamed the Bourbon-An Hoa-Transasia Industrial Garden. Nen said authorities were finding it challenging to develop the economy while protecting the environment.
The province, however, is blessed with a high density of trees and low population, and shares 240km of border with Cambodia.
Seminar attendees said that Viet Nam would not be able to avoid the risk of ecological disorder if the country’s infrastructure and economic growth were not developed in a sustainable manner.
Kitajima Atsumu, mayor of Kitakyushu in Japan, told provincial authorities to protect the area’s Dau Tieng Lake so that more eco-towns could be created. During the 1960s, lakes and rivers in Kitakyushu were polluted with industrial waste after years of intense development. It took more than 20 years to improve the situation, said Atsumu.
Nguyen Thi Hanh, deputy head of the Urban Development Department under the Ministry of Construction, said the country’s urbanisation rate in 1998 was 19 per cent but in 2008 it increased to 30 per cent, leading to environmental problems.
Population density in major cities is at a high level, with 10,000 people per sq.km.
Hanh said recent serious floods in Ha Noi showed that authorities must pay more attention to sustainable development and the effects of climate change.