Humans of enCity: Dzung Quang – Planning is a slow-burn love

Humans of enCity: Dzung Quang – Planning is a slow-burn love

Planning extraordinaire, Ho Chi Minh City Office manager, hand-sketch artist, and amateur chef - all in one gentle, caring soul.
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enCity: What attracted you to enCity?

DQ: In my previous companies, I faced two main challenges. When first starting as a junior, I needed guidance on the fundamentals of good planning but there was a lack of mentorship in those places, as many others. Many planning firms focus primarily on meeting legal requirements for plan approval. Important, yes, but it overlooks the essence of planning, a complex, fascinating science. Reducing it to mere legal compliance diminishes the whole craft.

At enCity, I found what I had missed. I have colleagues and seniors, who invest time into both discussing masterplan concepts and perfecting details. This level of engagement and collaboration has been a welcome change from my previous environments. Everyone is also very kind and always extends a helping hand to one another.

Secondly, planning at enCity isn’t just about ticking boxes on a legal checklist. Sometimes these requirements are outdated, and a planner’s job isn’t merely to follow them, but to incorporate community inputs into a development framework that truly benefits society. This approach makes every project interesting and fulfilling, even through difficulties.

Before I knew it, six years had passed, and I’m still here.

Dzung Quang is the author of many beautiful project sketches and illustrative plans at enCity 

 

enCity: Six years! That’s a significant amount of time in one company. Has a lot changed?

DQ: Many things have changed. Our work has evolved, venturing into new frontiers of design and technology. The people and the offices have expanded. I feel like I’ve seen more of enCity than most people.

The biggest change, I think, is in myself. I’ve grown from a junior planner to an associate and a project coordinator, working as a key team member of large-scale strategic projects like Thu Duc City Masterplan and Ho Chi Minh City Masterplan.

My motto? One step at a time.

With each project, I learn more about infrastructure, hydrology, landscape, land use – you name it. I don’t consider myself a planning prodigy; I started from scratch and built my knowledge with patience and an open mindset. Over the years, I’ve also become a better professional, capable of collaborating and engaging with diverse partners and clients on various scales.

enCity: Ho Chi Minh City is the third largest city in Southeast Asia. Delivering its masterplan must be a dream project for an urban and regional planner. Is it your favorite?

DQ: Initially, I thought so. How often does one get to plan such a megacity? But over the years, I’ve realized that it’s not the project or the size itself but the depth of planning expertise that makes a dream project. Every location has its uniqueness and charm if you have the time and patience to discover it. Remember the project we did in Buon Ma Thuot, the well-known city as the “capital of coffee”? We provided masterplan for a site of this city – where we conducted social surveys of nearly 700 households. Suddenly, there were so many elements to consider, so much nuance to take note of and to incorporate into the physical masterplan. Any projects that allow me to delve deeply into the site, its people, and its history are the ones that I love.

enCity: It sounds like you really love planning.

DQ: I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.

Working at enCity has taken Dzung Quang to many new places throughout Vietnam 

 

enCity: Well, you are now also our Office Manager for Ho Chi Minh City. Congratulations on the new role! How do you feel?

DQ: It was a pretty natural progression. I’ve been here for a long time, I understand enCity’s culture and style, and I know many people across offices. As the company grows, ‘oldies’ like me help maintain the ‘enCity way’. With support from the Operations and HR teams, it’s been smooth. Managing our office relocation was a big task, and we’ve done it very well.

Dzung Quang creates a warm and conducive working environment as the Manager of Ho Chi Minh City Office

 

enCity: In a hypothetical world where enCity does not exist and you were not a planner, who would you be?

DQ: Purely in the realm of imagination, I’d be a chef. I love cooking and could do it all day. My instant noodles are anything but instant – they take two hours, with homemade broth and various ingredients. A good bowl of noodles requires considering all elements, how they fit together, time, dedication, and effort.

enCity: Cooking like a true planner… Thank you, Dzung Quang!

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Every location has its uniqueness and charm if you have the time and patience to discover it. Remember the project we did in Buon Ma Thuot, the well-known city as the “capital of coffee”? We provided masterplan for a site of this city – where we conducted social surveys of nearly 700 households. Suddenly, there were so many elements to consider, so much nuance to take note of and to incorporate into the physical masterplan. Any projects that allow me to delve deeply into the site, its people, and its history are the ones that I love.

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