Urbanisation and Participation of Private Sector in Urban Environmental Planning and Management

Abstract
The process of economic reforms in Vietnam has led to both fast economic growth and rapid pace of urbanization. In Vietnam, urban areas are serving as the country’s engines of growth, accounting for about two thirds of the country’s GDP and revenue. The living standards in urban areas have risen and urban poverty has been reduced. In addition the urban built-environment has changed with the pace of new construction activities exceeding all previous records. The low skyline of the major cities is now dotted with high-rise buildings. Roads, transportation, communication, houses, supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants are being built and modernized.

The increased economic activity in the urban areas is a great attraction for rural people to move into the cities. The population growth in towns and cities has exceeded beyond the growth of economic development and that of construction. The urban infrastructure growth and expansion has not kept pace with the rates of urbanization. As a result the cities are becoming congested and polluted and face the problems of lack of housing, traffic congestion and shortage of urban environmental infrastructure and services.

This paper looks into the issue of how to attract/involve the private sector in the improvement of urban environmental planning and management in Vietnam. It examines the history of private sector participation in provision of urban environmental infrastructure and services in Vietnam. It outlines the benefits and difficulties of private sector participation. It also lists the conditions and sketches the process needed for the success of private sector involvement.

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