Floods force HCM City to amend urban planning
  • By Tung Nguyen | dtinews.vn | February 09, 2012 03:32 PM
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Authorities in HCM City are amending the municipal urban planning in order to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.


Low lying areas in HCM City have been stricken by floods 


Policymakers in HCM City have been paying more attention to climate change in recent years.

With the city forecasted to have up to 10% of its areas to be affected by climatic changes, including a higher sea level in the next 50 years, the local government is intensifying efforts to study methods to better adapt to climate change by adjusting its development policies.

Even though scientists forecast that the city and the Mekong Delta region will be seriously stricken by climate change in the next 30 or 40 years, municipal residents have already incurred several difficulties as a result of the sea water rise in low land areas of Nam Sai Gon, Thu Thiem, Nha Be and Can Gio.

The most prominent problem has been consecutive years of flooding in the city despite increased prevention efforts.

Over the past decade, the city has spent billions of VND on dozens of large-scale projects to deal with flooding but the situation has yet to greatly improve.

The situation is attributed to the fact that even though they could deal with flooding in certain places, other locations in the city have started to be plagued by floods due to a lack of comprehensive prevention plans, rising tides, and too fast pace of urbanisation.

Last year, the public raised concern over subsiding houses in Binh Thanh District. The district was notorious for the ‘sloping Pisa Street’ due to the impact of the construction of Van Thanh overpass around a decade ago.

According to the district’s statistics, the place has recorded over 100 cracked and sloping constructions, mainly on Nguyen Huu Canh, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Pham Viet Chanh, and Dinh Bo Linh Street, as a result of substandard foundations.

‘Dead holes’ had been another problem affecting the city between 2009 and 2011. The municipal Department of Transportation said last year HCM City recorded over 100 cases of subsidence, causing dangerous sinkholes.

The situation was attributed to substandard foundations and poor road construction.

Higher ground

Due to those negative impacts of climate change, the municipal government has been amending its urban planning with priority given to the development in higher standing areas such as those in the north-western parts of the city which have remained fallow for several years.

The city plans to develop the Tay Bac urban area, occupying over 6,000 hectares ranging from Hoc Mon to Cu Chi Districts based on this assumption.

Real estate investors have followed suit, switching to buying land and housing in higher ground, instead of products in Phu My Hung new urban area in District No. 7 and Thu Thiem urban area in District No. 2.

Many real estate firms have also started to accumulate land on higher ground to prepare their future projects.

The An Phu Company has recently developed a 650-hectare urban area in Cu Chi District while a Malaysian firm invested in a 900-hectare urban area in the same district.

Increasing numbers of people have rushed to buy land for housing in Cu Chi District.

Several enterprises have even targeted higher areas in HCM City’s surrounding areas such as Ben Cat in Binh Duong Province and Trang Bom in Dong Nai Province. These districts have already been popular due to their favourable geographical location as a result of HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway and National Highway No. 13.

Nguyen Van Duc, Direcor of Dat Lanh Real Estate Company, which has invested in several low-cost housing projects, said land on higher and more solid ground could help save between 20% and 30% of construction costs, making the projects cheaper.

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