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Construction of High-Rises Should Cease in Downtown Saigon, Hanoi to Reduce Congestion: Vietnam PM

In Saigon and Hanoi, downtown areas are suffering from major bottlenecks due to the boom of high-rise buildings in recent years.

Tuoi Tre reports that a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered municipal officials in Saigon and Hanoi to stop putting high-rises in the central districts of both cities to curb traffic congestion. At the moment, measures to control traffic jams are detailed in Resolution No. 16, which was issued on July 31, 2008.

However, lawmakers at the time didn’t take into account the skyscraper boom that has plagued the metropolises over the years. Putting a large number of households in a few central neighborhoods has clogged up local streets, which were not designed to handle to the crowd of residents living in high-rises.

Now, PM Phuc has requested that officials come up with a new resolution to replace Resolution No. 16. They have until June 30 this year to devise a draft version of the document, which will comprise details on how cities should cease construction and giving out permits for high-rises in congested areas. Instead, municipal authorities are encouraged to develop satellite urban areas.

At the moment, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has stopped issuing permits for new projects in Saigon’s central 930-hectare area – which constitutes most of District 1, 3 and part of District 4 and Binh Thanh District.

“A series of favorable policies will be implemented for projects in suburban districts. Cost of housing in these neighborhoods will be cheaper and is expected to attract more residents,” Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture Nguyen Thanh Toan shared with Tuoi Tre.

Toan added that land use fees and related taxes will also see a hike in central areas to discourage new buildings.

This is not the first time local officials want to tackle urban congestion by slashing high-rise construction: a similar idea for Saigon was put forth in August 2017 by the municipal People’s Committee. In recent months, life in and around tall apartment buildings has become the talk of the town, especially when it comes to safety and convenience, after a fire broke out in an apartment in District 8, claiming 13 lives.


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