A number of countries in the ASEAN bloc have revealed lofty plans to build smart cities. Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines are on the track to create high-tech urban agglomerations constituting unmanned vehicles and robots. Whereas, some countries like Egypt are building a new city to ease the demographic pressure.
More recently, another country of the ASEAN bloc, Vietnam has announced plans to build a smart city as an extension of Hanoi by 2025. The initiative labelled as ‘The smart City ICT Architecture for Hanoi’ involves laying the foundation for e-government – as one of the key elements.
Currently, the capital city is drawing inspiration from leading global smart cities in order to apply the best practices. It will implement experience and the knowledge of Japan in creating smart cities. Also, keep the focus on the development of an efficient, competitive, innovative, and transparent urban ecosystem.
To meet its goals, the city is showcasing strong-growing cooperation with international smart cities and IT organisations. Vietnam leaders have created the nation’s largest data centre in the attempt. Simultaneously, Hanoi administration has brokered contracts with IT companies like Dell Technology Group, and Microsoft Corporation.
PricewaterhouseCoopers performed a study which showed that Hanoi stands as one of the fastest-growing cities. Its population is predicted to be 2,300 per sq km which makes it sensible for the government to build a new smart city. Additionally, there is a pressing need to enhance convenience and safety. And the adoption of the fourth industrial revolution is positively anticipated to bring the change.
As far as the location is concerned, Hanoi is situated in the centre of the Northern Delta with favourable natural conditions. In a meeting, experts concluded that the region chosen for the development will facilitate the pressure of the growing population.
Besides being a political capital, it has abundant human resources, transport facilities and huge cultural and scientific centre. Moreover, it is one of the largest economic drivers in the country.
The Planning, Design & Development
Plans are already taking shape in northern Hanoi on a 272-hectare land in the Dong Anh district. The place is situated halfway between Noi Ban Internation Airport and the centre of Hanoi stretching across 11 km.
As per reports, the initiative is being backed by the Japanese government. It is working closely with Vietnam to expand the sustainable development of smart cities between 2019 and 2030. Similar projects are expected to commence in the north, central and Mekong River Delta region during this period.
BRG Group, a conglomerate and Japanese finance firm Sumitomo have made a joint venture with an investment of over $4.2 billion.
The development is split into five phases. The work is commencing from the residential area which can accommodate 20-25,000 people. The entire project is expected to be accomplished by 2028. Through this period, security systems, commercial facilities, hospitals, schools and disaster prevention facilities will be constructed. Alongside, a 108-storey financial tower will be built with the main street adorning cherry blossom trees. A lush green area and a water passage will also be a part of this project ensuring a pleasing environment for the residents.
The tower will feature a lotus design and would position Hanoi as a modern capital and financial centre in Southeast Asia. It will be essentially equivalent to the capitals of developed countries around the world.
Furthermore, plans have been unveiled to extend the Hanoi Metro Line 2 from downtown Hanoi to Noi Bai International. In between, the line will travel through the new smart city area which will include a new station. As per Sumitomo, they are considering a plan focusing on the new station where people will be able to move around without cars.
Masayuki Hyodo, Sumitomo’s president stated that the smart city planning is progressing without a fixed goal. The focus is on creating an urban space that suits Vietnam.
The e-City In Hanoi
As the new city will be supported by e-government and smart urban infrastructure, the share of the digital economy will be at 30% of the GDP. Leading the way towards 2030, Vietnam will enter the top 40 list of leading nations in the global innovation index (GII).
While being an industry 4.0-driven initiative, Hanoi has introduced a digital public service portal. This facility is launched to enable citizens to gain access to state agencies easily. By the end of 2019, over 80% of the public services are expected to go online with advanced technology. This will include services such as registration for startups, custom, tax declarations and social security.
The new smart city will be augmented with artificial intelligence, IoT, 5G technology, blockchain, and facial recognition technology.
Transportation & Infrastructure
The capital city is already leveraging the benefits of digitised transport services. The Centre for Urban Traffic Management and Operation is managing the urban transport services for years. It supports efficient itinerary management applications to provide reliable and specific information on over 100 routes. Going further, now the city is establishing a smart transport policy to manage traffic and traffic violations.
The new transit-oriented plans to enable people to commute without cars will include high-volume urban transport. Buses and subways will help decrease personal vehicle use and ensure speedy and convenient commutation. The Urban Railway No.2, in specific, will synchronously connect the new city with centre of Hanoi.
Technology is also being worked to monitor the availability of natural resources, air and water quality, rainfall levels, and flood-prone areas. Warning systems will keep ahead of the disaster-prone areas. A security management system will assure safety for the residents. Plus, a database is also being compiled for land management.
Another essential feature is the introduction of a virtual classroom which will provide lessons to foreign teachers.
Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, chairwoman of BRG Group said in a statement that “the smart city will be a highlight at the gateway to the capital.” It will act as the driving force behind the development of urban space in the north of Red River. Additionally, it will also generate multiple jobs and other benefits for the socio-economic enhancement of Hanoi.
Coming to energy consumption, apartments will be facilitated with optimised central energy management systems. This will also include the use of renewable energies. A cashless payment system will further improve the experience of smart consumption.
Another interesting feature coming to light is the development of WAN net throughout the city. It applies one-door electric linking systems in different fields such as public administration, healthcare and education.
The Purpose Of The Smart City
The investors are stressing on inherited and long-term values. The creation of the smart city will play a major role in solving urban issues, as per BRG Group. The project will primarily address overpopulation, traffic congestion and pollution – the main inadequacies of the city. It is anticipated that the city will be the door to new development drivers for the future in Hanoi.
Further, Sumitomo considers social infrastructure to be the growth area in the development. It has placed its main focus on achieving harmony with the global environment. Going in the line, this will also contribute to developing local communities and industries. This will include providing diverse accessibility and establishing a comfortable and enriching lifestyle and enhanced governance.
The smart city extension in Hanoi is a straightforward example of creating a full-fledged city for its people and the environment.