This proposal will be sent to the Prime Minister for approval, so as to remove difficulties in compensation, site clearance, and to speed up the project, as well as to attract more investors.
According to Decision 123/1998/QD-TTg dated 10 July 1998, this plan was updated and adjusted in the general construction planning of Ho Chi Minh City with orientation until 2025. It was approved by the Prime Minister under Decision 24/QD-TTg dated 6 January 2010, and it included the Northwest Urban Area of 6,084 hectares located across the two districts of Cu Chi and Hoc Mon. It was meant to be one of the satellite urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City under the development strategy of the Ho Chi Minh City Master Plan. However, over the years the tasks of compensation, site clearance, and further investments have slowed the project.
More than ten years ago, Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment JSC started a number of apartment projects for resettlement in the Northwest Urban Area, but then nothing was ever built. Mr. Le Van Viet, from Tan Phu Trung commune in Cu Chi district, said that the project has been stalling for many years, while the land is lying abandoned and waste, and people who want to build and transfer the land are also being very difficult. On the other hand, urbanization is increasing everywhere, with more and more houses being built, making compensation and clearance work increasingly difficult.
This situation has caused the Department of Planning and Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City to consider adjusting and supplementing the approved plan with changes to some contents such as the size of the Northwest Urban Area from 6,084 hectares to 4,410 hectares; separating the existing residential area of 1,674 hectares with a population of about 85,000 people by 2025, and adjusting the population size from 300,000 to 600,000 people for the entire area; and reducing the size of the International University Training Area from 306 hectares to about 150 hectares, but keeping the training and research scale unchanged.
According to the Department of Planning and Economics, the contents specified in Decision 24/QD-TTg fall under the authority of the Prime Minister. The People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City is organizing the adjustment of the general plan submitted to the Ministry of Construction for appraisal of tasks. However, if there is a delay while the general planning adjustment is approved, then the Northwest Urban Area will take another two to three years. This does not meet the needs of investment and development of urban areas.
Due to these obstacles, the Department of Planning and Economics proposed to the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to consider and report to the Prime Minister to organize the planning of the Northwest Urban Area.
Meeting current criteria
Speaking with Saigon Investment, Ms. Pham Thi Thanh Hien, Chairman of the People's Committee of Cu Chi district, said that it is necessary to adjust the plan of the Northwest Urban Area to suit the actual situation in order to speed up the implementation of the project.
The People's Committee of Cu Chi district has also sent a written request to the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to prepare and adjust the zone plan at the scale of 1:5000 of the Northwest Urban Area to redefine the residential area boundaries, by including the existing residential area, and creating conditions for people to exercise their rights to later change purpose and build houses in the residential areas. On 5 February 2020, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh city approved the adjustment to the zone plan at the scale of 1:5000 of the Northwest Urban Area under Decision 351/QD-UBND, for making the project according to regulations.
Based on the approved planning tasks, the Northwest Urban Area Management Board will organize forming of a 1:5000 zone plan. However, the planning process faces many difficulties and obstacles. Specifically, according to the approved zone plan task of 1:5000 scale of the Northwest Urban Area, it is determined that in this area there is an existing residential area with a population size forecast of 85,000 people, with the average residential land target of the whole area at 130 square meters per person. The actual defined boundary of about 1,674 hectares of the existing residential area is not suitable, because it will reduce the urban area when it is narrowed to only 4,410 hectares, which is not according to the general construction planning project of Ho Chi Minh City until 2025, and which was earlier approved by the Prime Minister.
In addition, the Northwest Urban Area following the general planning orientation was previously a modern ecological urban area with low construction density. With the current development reality, this area is an important urban functional area to exploit the land fund in the northwest part of Ho Chi Minh City, with the most traffic flowing along National Highway 22, Ring Road 3, 4, and Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai expressway, and especially along Metro Line No. 2. Therefore, it is necessary to make additional adjustments and change the nature from eco urban to smart urban, according to the Orientation for Development of Public Transport System for Urban Development Planning (TOD), in association with modern technological elements for this area.
According to the approved zone planning task of 1:5000 scale, the population size of the Northwest Urban Area is 300,000 people, of which the population of the existing residential area is about 57,465 people, and by 2025 will be about 85,000 people. In the remaining 4,410 hectares, there is an International University Urban Area project coming up over 923 hectares, which has been approved with a detailed planning project of 1: 2,000 scale, with a population of 68,000 people. Therefore, the population density distributed over the remaining 3,487 hectares of only 147,000 people is very low, equivalent to a population density of 33.33 people per hectare. This does not meet the criteria according to current standards and regulations as the average population density for a class 5 city is at least 100 people per hectare. It is difficult to meet the urban nature and the proposed planning objectives and orientations in such a case.
According to the detailed planning project of 1: 2000 scale of the International University Urban Area, the training and research area alone covers 306 hectares, which is difficult for receiving more investment. Therefore, in order to increase the feasibility of further investments and effectively using land resources, it is advisable to reduce the size of the International University Urban Area, but while keeping the training and research scale unchanged.