Delegates speak at the seminar (Photo: VNA)
 
Da Nang (VNA) – The People’s Committee of Da Nang city held an international seminar with CityNet on “Investing in Sustainable Urbanisation” in the central city on November 22, focusing on sustainable city finance and urban infrastructure investments.

In his remarks at the seminar, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh said the local administration aims to sustainably develop Da Nang. In 2014, the city adopted a project to build a smart city which outlined five priority areas, namely transport, water supply, drainage, food safety control, and building a connected city, he noted.

The event provided a platform for city members of CityNet, like Da Nang, to share their best practices and discuss how to address some of the challenges of investing in sustainable urbanisation, the vice chairman added.

CityNet, a regional network of local authorities for the management of human settlements, was founded in Nagoya, Japan in 1987. Starting with 26 members, CityNet has grown to 135 members, made up of city governments, non-governmental organisations, private companies, and research centres. Its members include six cities from Vietnam – Hai Phong, Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Ho Chi Minh City.

As the largest association of urban stakeholders committed to sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region, it connects those active in the field to exchange knowledge and find innovative solutions for urban challenges.

According to the CityNet Secretariat, growing demand for infrastructure development is a huge challenge to urbanisation. Urban communities largely depend on effective urban planning, as well as access to affordable public services. However, they have limited access to city finance to do so, not to mention the ever-increasing demands on infrastructure due to a booming urban population.

City finance is crucial in making cities more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient, said Mary Jane Ortega, CityNet Special Adviser. Without sustainable financing and investments in urban infrastructure, cities will not be able to develop solutions to the various challenges they are facing. So the cities must develop specific programmes for cooperation, particularly in finance for sustainable city development, she added.

Toru Hashimoto, Executive Director of the Department of Development Cooperation of Yokohama, Japan, said Yokohama has fostered international partnership with many cities of different countries. In Southeast Asia, the city has set up ties with Cebu (the Philippines), Bangkok (Thailand), and Da Nang (Vietnam), he said.

He further noted that Da Nang is growing fast and will experience similar urban issues to Yokohama’s. Rapid economic growth, together with a booming population, will trigger traffic congestion, pollution, declining disaster resilience, and difficulties in urban management.

To address these, Yokohama and Da Nang have worked together in a number of projects, including the building of Lien Chieu Port under a public-private partnership contract and the application of a joint crediting mechanism (JCM) to install high-efficiency pumps at the Da Nang Water Supply Company, Hashimoto said.

He revealed that Yokohama is surveying locations and looking into all possible organic solutions to help Da Nang cope with pollution and develop smart public transport in the Vietnamese city. –VNA