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Smart City plans (2017-2020) unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam

On November 26, the Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City People's Committee held a conference to announce (link in Vietnamese) plans for building HCM City into a Smart City. The first phase will run from 2017-2020.

HCM City is the largest city in Vietnam by population, with an estimated population of more than 10 million.

Through the Smart City Project, technology will be leveraged to help the City deal with problems such as rapid population growth and inadequate healthcare, education and transport services. The initiatives under the Project are expected to help improve public administration and enhance its capability to forecast and make long-term plans.

The project also aims to ensure sustainable economic growth, take the City towards a digital, knowledge-based economy and attract investments.

State media outlet, Việt Nam News reported Trần Vĩnh Tuyến, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee and head of the smart city management board as saying, “The smart city aims to create a comfortable, positive, healthy and safe living environment with convenient public transportation, good healthcare, less crime and clean water and environment.” Workers will have access to necessary infrastructure to ensure their international competitiveness, such as broadband Internet, low-cost green energy, opportunities to foster their education, knowledge and skills, as well as reasonably-priced living and working space.

Public oversight will be improved through better transparency and improved citizen participation and feedback.

Implementation plans

During the first phase from 2017-2020, there will be a focus on cloud computing infrastructure, big data analysis, building a shared data warehouse, construction of redundant data centres and developing an open data ecosystem for the city.

Intelligent control centres (IOCs) with civic service platforms and information security monitoring centres will be built. On November 20, Vietnamnet Bridge reported that the City has entered into an agreement with military-controlled telecom company, Viettel, to build an operation centre for controlling and monitoring activities in the city through data collection and analysis. The centre will include many sub-centres such as a surveillance camera control centre to monitor streets for crime and traffic violations, an emergency call centre for fire and rescue services, an information security operations centre, a public administration centre and an information management centre for the media.

The City also aims to build a centre for study and simulation of forecasts to support the formulation of the City's socio-economic development strategy.

Furthermore, in this first phase, there are plans to implement smart solutions to bring immediate practical benefits for citizens in areas such as health, food safety, education, traffic management, flood control, and law and order. For instance, on November 23, the City’s Transportation Department released a free app to help commuters plan routes by providing timely information on traffic conditions and current congestions. Other initiatives in the area of transport could include interlinked electronic ticket, smart ticketing, and smart parking.

In the subsequent phase 2, the smart solutions launched during Phase 1 would be further expanded and their implementation synchronised.

Phase 3 (post-2025) is about the longer-term vision. Technology platforms will continue to be strengthened to improve processing capacity, storage, level of safety, security and intelligent solutions upgraded towards being smarter and expanding into other areas of life.

Featured image: Diego Delso/ CC BY-SA 3.0

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