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Rapid urbanization worsening environmental dangers in VN

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said urbanization in Vietnam has been proceeding very quickly, as seen in the expansion of the administrative boundary of Hanoi and HCM City, where formerly agricultural land is now being used for industrial, trade and service activities. 

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The urbanization in Vietnam has been proceeding quickly 

 

Dr of Planning and Urban Design Nguyen Luu Bao Doan said that Vietnam’s economy grows on two ‘pillars’ – Hanoi and HCM City. The two cities can enjoy amenities at lower costs and higher life quality than other cities/provinces. 

Hanoi and HCM City are also the localities that foreign businesses consider first when they want to set up head offices.

The high population density in the two urban areas provides daily services, such as electricity, water, waste water treatment and public transport, at lower costs than in rural areas. 

Nevertheless, the rapid population increase during urbanization leads to many problems, including traffic jams and infrastructure overloading. 

Most notably, household waste and emissions have increased, having an impact on the environment and climate change.

According to the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the average temperature in the city has increased by 0.7oC and the standard deviation of rainfall varies from 311 to 502 mm. 

Doan said that urbanization can help push polluting industries away from cities, while it paves the way for trade and service to develop, creating higher material value to society. In some countries, urbanization also helps reduce the air pollution level measured in the CO2 index.

However, the ‘symbiosis’ between the environment and urbanization does not occur in a natural way, but has a direct impact from humans. If cities are developed into smart green urban areas, the relation will develop in harmony.

Urbanization and expansion of administrative boundaries have caused pollution. With its administrative boundaries expanded on August 1, 2008, Hanoi became the 17th largest capital city in the world with over 3,300 square kilometers.

 More than 3,900 hectares of inner city land are ‘highly vulnerable’ and 700 hectares are ‘extremely highly vulnerable’ due to pollution and flooding. 

The pollution caused by waste generates chemical substances such as dioxin and carbon dioxide that cause cancer and genetic changes.

Director of the Hanoi Department for Natural Resources and the Environment Le Tuan Dinh cited many programs implemented to protect the environment, including the  planting of 1 million trees, upgrade of 104 reservoirs, and installation of air monitoring stations and waste incinerators.

 

Source: VNN

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