Back Stories » Saigon » Saigon's Urban Green Coverage Is Poor, but Little Is Done to Speed up Park Projects

Saigon's Urban Green Coverage Is Poor, but Little Is Done to Speed up Park Projects

Saigon currently has 540 million square meters of green space, but the number seems dismal when factoring in the city's population density.

According to an analysis written by Nguyen Dang Son, vice director of the Institute for Urban Studies and Infrastructure Development, published by Sai Gon Giai Phong, green space distribution across rural and urban districts in Saigon is highly uneven. The city's urban areas have 5.5 million square meters of green space, accounting for only 1% of the total green area in the city. The rest of the green space belongs to rural locations.

This gap is also widened by the dense population in urban locations compared to rural areas. Therefore, while the average green coverage of Saigon overall is 13.7 square meters per person, the average green coverage in urban zones is only 1.95 square meters per person, and according to the Department of Transport, this figure is as low as 0.69 square meters per person in some spots. In rural areas of the city, the green coverage per capita is 473.6 square meters per person.

Parks are also decreasing in number, reports Vietnam News. The news source cited two locals expressing their disappointment about the availability of parks and green space near their homes. A man named Tuan, for example, said that over time the green areas surrounding his house have slowly disappeared, while Oanh, who lives next to Le Thi Rieng Park, observed that many areas in the park have been appropriated by shops. Efforts to remedy the problem, however, have struggled to make headway.

"With limited budget resources, the city gives priority to more urgent projects such as roads, flood-proofing works, schools and hospitals. So many park projects have been suspended," Hoang Tung, deputy director of the city's Planning and Architecture Department, told the news source.

In late 2018, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee announced that it would reclaim September 23 Park and businesses currently renting space in the park would have to move out by the end of April 2019. At the time of writing, many buildings occupying the park have been demolished, but it remains to be seen if they will be replaced by green spaces.

Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that there are plans to build five new parks in District 12, Binh Thanh District and Thu Duc District.

[Photo: A corner of the Saigon Zoo/Kevin Lee]

Related Articles:

Saigon to Remove Private Businesses to Reclaim, Upgrade September 23 Park

Saigon to Shutter Market, Food Court Underneath September 23 Park

Saigon to Turn Largest Cemetery Into Park, Residential Area

Partner Content