Successful project planning entails knowing business needs, investor choices and investment parameters when investing in a city. The business conference “Contributing ideas to Thu Duc City Master Plan” held on March 5, 2022 focused on understanding needs and aspirations of 300 enterprises currently operating in Thu Duc City, along with thoughts from experts in planning, architecture, technology, etc on further developing the smart city.
Mr. Dzung Do Nguyen (enCity CEO, on behalf of Sasaki-enCity consortium) emphasized the importance of ideas from the business community for a city planning project. He introduced 4 development aspirations for Thu Duc City: (1) To develop a technology-enabled economy with a financial technology center; (2) To build an innovation ecosystem and become a vibrant, creative district of Ho Chi Minh City; (3) To become a Regional Hub which connects with neighboring provinces; and, (4) To develop resilient communities with a high quality of life, hence attracting talent to Thu Duc City.
To achieve the above aspirations, key features of the city master plan include:
– 8 Innovation Hotspots for economic development and business opportunities including a fintech center, sports hub, hi-tech park, logistics hub, an eco-township, the national university campus and a “living lab” that test-bedding future technologies
– A well-distributed major road network to open up new development opportunities for Thu Duc City, complemented with Transit-oriented Development (TOD) at regional, city and district centers.
– Land use principles that enable market creativity and foster innovation ecosystems by ensuring flexibility, multi-functions for land uses, intensifying developments along public transport corridors with good infrastructure conditions, and integrating climate change adaptation requirements into zoning regulations.
As a fulcrum of the knowledge economy of Ho Chi Minh City, pioneering advancements in science, technology, and digital infrastructure, Thu Duc City will be an innovation center, supported by local businesses and talent.
Business representatives from different sectors including education, technology, manufacturing and real estate shared their perspective. Offering a logistics standpoint, a port company proposed to increase the exploitation capacity of the Cat Lai port area (planned for logistics development), develop new routes to and exploit more land to transport goods and develop logistics. From the field of technology and digital transformation, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group suggested developing high-quality IT infrastructure for the city, applying 6G, and building data centers that prioritize essential areas affecting people’s lives such as flood warnings and traffic jams. Speaking for health and education, the representative of Fulbright in Vietnam proposed to focus on planning hospitals and health care centers near residential areas. In the trade and commerce industry, one businessman said that it is necessary to improve the connecting transport infrastructure systems quickly, enhance the quality of skilled personnel, and soon build a world-class fintech hub in Thu Duc City with a high-tech entertainment area such as Disneyland and nightlife areas to attract tourists, from a financial perspective. Another business leader highlighted that Thu Duc City has a diverse system of canals, which the master plan should develop a green urban model to preserve.
From the city government, Mr. Hoang Tung (Chairman of Thu Duc City) shared the progress of the master plan that was approved by Vietnam’s Prime Minister in September 2021. He encouraged business leaders to contribute ideas to propel the city to become highly interactive and innovative. The master plan of the city should be close to the people and create real impact, which can come from the contributions of the business community. Besides listening to all the comments and recommendations The City will also organize smaller seminars for each industry to discuss more details, the ultimate purpose being “to make the Thu Duc City master plan the most feasible and attractive to businesses, so that they are ready to accompany the city in implementing the plan”.