Sasaki – enCity Team wins international competition to shape Highly Interactive Innovation District in Ho Chi Minh City

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11.2019: Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) –  The government of Ho Chi Minh City announced the selection of Sasaki with collaborator enCity to further explore their ideas for a burgeoning innovation district in the eastern part of the city. From a shortlist of 6 international design firms, Sasaki, a global practice with offices in Boston and Shanghai, and enCity, an international planning practice based in Singapore and Vietnam, were awarded first place for The Highly Interactive Innovation District. The competition, launched in April 2019, solicited planning and design ideas for over 22,000 hectares of the city throughout District 2, District 9, and Thu Duc District.

Over the last 17 years, Sasaki has gained a deep understanding of the city, having worked on a series of significant planning and design projects including the Thu Thiem New Urban Area Master Plan, the Rach Chiec Sports District Master Plan, the Saigon Riverfront, and the master plan for District 4. Ho Chi Minh City is also a familiar place for enCity, with its experts conducting research on the city’s planning and policy and developing master plans for various urban hubs throughout the city.

The planned innovation district in eastern Ho Chi Minh City is envisioned as a significant future economic driver for the city and region – connecting research, entrepreneurship, academia, industry, and the local community to create a diverse innovation eco-system. Sasaki and enCity will now work closely with the city’s Department of Planning and Architecture (DPA) and other stakeholders on formulating planning and design strategies to fuel catalytic investment and development as well as governance, policy, and development mechanisms to shepherd the thoughtful evolution of the city.

“Ho Chi Minh City has the potential to expand upon the traditional triple helix model of an innovation district’s structure – involving academia, government, and industry – to more directly involve communities and society at the core of its innovation activities while ensuring long-term ecological and environmental resilience,” explains Romil Sheth, principal and lead designer for the project.

“The future of innovation in Ho Chi Minh City must be inspiring and grounded, exceptional and inclusive, transformative and authentic,” adds Michael Grove, Sasaki principal and chair of landscape architecture, civil engineering, and ecology. “This is the charge, and we’re excited to collaborate with the City on building the foundations for the region’s transformation into a 21st century innovation hub.”

“The development potential of Ho Chi Minh City lies on its long history of innovation, inclusive culture, young and creative work force and growth-supportive urban structure,” Dzung Do Nguyen, Managing Director of enCity, concludes. “The winning proposal aims to cultivate these unique strengths to turn Ho Chi Minh City into an innovation hub. We look forward to partnering with the city to transition these big ideas into reality.”

About Sasaki

At Sasaki, we believe in the transformative power of place. Places transcend physical spaces, becoming the context and the content of our experience of life. For over sixty five years, Sasaki has brought together the best of landscape architecture, planning, urban design, architecture, interior design, civil engineering, graphic design, place branding, and data science to shape the places in which we live. Out of our Boston and Shanghai offices we are defining the contours of place and redefining what’s possible along the way. Today, we are a diverse practice of over 300 professionals who share a singular passion for creating spaces and places around the world that prove human potential.

About enCity

enCity is an international consulting firm focusing on solving urban problems and transforming places. Established by a diverse team of planners, designers, engineers, and economists, enCity goes beyond blueprints and conventional thinking to search for innovative solutions that address local challenges. Operating from offices in Singapore and Vietnam, our passion and know-how on Asian urbanism, tradition, way of life and progress in economic development enable us to create places that are inspiring to people and sensible to the context.