A green villa in the central city of Da Nang (Source:VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam needs to have detailed criteria and policies that promote the development of green urban areas to improve living standards, architect Le Thi Bich Thuan has said.

Thuan wrote in a story for the Vietnam Architecture Magazine that green urban planning had not been given adequate attention as an overall solution for protecting the environment and enhancing living standards in urban areas. Both investors and residents were not sufficiently aware of “green urban areas,” while profits rather than the long-term interests of the community remained a higher priority.

She said policies should be raised to encourage real estate developers to invest in developing green projects.

The boom in developing property projects in recent decades in Vietnam, despite creating a diverse supply for the market, intensified pressure on the ecosystem and living environment and increased the demand for urban open spaces amongst city dwellers.

Vu Cuong Quyet, Director of the Northern Greenland Service and Real Estate Joint Stock Company, said home seekers now had a growing need for green projects that incorporate amenities and energy savings as improved incomes would prompt them to search for projects with a good living environment.

Quyet said developers should pay attention to developing a connected infrastructure as well as social amenities and open spaces.

A representative from CBRE said projects with a complete infrastructure and a large percentage of green space, in fact, attracted more attention from home seekers.

A property developer said green projects would have higher liquidity but noted that not every firm was capable of developing this type of project as support remains limited.

However, the lack of detailed criteria for green urban development is confusing for both developers and buyers, experts point out.

According to Nguyen Tien Dong, Head of the Credit Department under the State Bank of Vietnam, several banks have taken green building standards into consideration when granting credit for property projects. However, the shortage of detailed criteria makes this evaluation difficult.

The government has issued several guidelines to promote energy savings and green development, such as Decree 102/2003/NĐ/CP and Decision 1393/QĐ-TTg, but more detailed instructions are needed.

According to Thuan, developing a compact city combined with urban open spaces and public transportation that limits emissions could be a solution for urban development in Vietnam.-VNA