Large-scale land acquisition - lessons learnt from the Ecopark, Vietnam

 

Large-scale land acquisition - lessons learnt from the Ecopark, Vietnam

Dr. Hieu Nguyen Ngoc, Academy of Public Administration of Vietnam

April 24th 2012, about a thousand policemen enforced a 72 hectare-land acquisition task for the 2nd phase of Ecopark development project outside of Hanoi. Its ‘reputation' transcended beyond the border of 500 hectare project not only because of the classes between enforcers and farmers, but also the justifications on the legality and fairness of stakeholders.
Agricultural land conversion and land acquisition for urban development is a burning issue in Vietnam over past two decades. Developers should negotiate with occupants on the price to acquire unless his/her project is large enough and public enough to be acquired by the State. Within State owned land, the mechanism ‘the search for State's acquisition is the target of every developer.
In the surrounding of Ecopark project, land use rights have been inflated along with the sprawl of the Hanoi city. Land speculation deepened the rift between the understandings of a fair compensation rate between developer and local people. Since the interests of many are finally dependent on the rhetoric of some planner and politicians; social disputes and conflicts are easily to burst out just because of each view and which legal ground they rely upon.
It is urgent that the State to further delineate when and how to apply the ‘market price' and ‘State's price' in such ‘scaling up' project such as Ecopark. Further, the clarity and the education of price structure of the developed land may help both sides deflating the inflated price to ‘net present value', hedging the ‘third party' speculation, and internalising development benefit to local people.
The burst out of the Ecopark might bring about more positive changes to lessen social risk in future than the concern of the social problem in large-scale acquisition project.

Key words: land acquisition, urban development project, social risk, land use price structure, land speculation.

 Dr. Hieu Nguyen Ngoc
Deputy Head of Urban Management and Rural Development Division
Academy of Public Administration of Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam