The 37th annual conference of the International Urban Development Association ( INTA ) opened in Hanoi on December 3 with the theme “Urban development in a Changing World”.

The world is facing great challenges in urban development, which require cooperation among countries to tackle them over a long time, and the conference is just one step forward in the process.

The two-day 37 th INTA World Congress aimed to provide a venue for policy makers and experts to discuss and agree on the overall solutions for hot issues related to urban development such as technical infrastructure, public finance, climate change and green energy, which will serve as reference for each city, each country in deciding their own options in line with the world trend.

An INTA representative suggested focusing more on public services as they have great impact on urban development. He also urged a balanced approach in both short-, medium- and long-term to issues arising in the process, adding that each city should try to select a development model most suitable for its situation instead of imitating others.

Vietnam , like many other developing countries, is seeing a strong urbanization process. The country had 765 urban areas as of the end of 2012, representing an urbanisation rate of 32.45 percent. Urban areas contribute 70 percent of the national GDP and provide strong momentum for the national industrialization and modernization.

However, the process is posing a range of short comings and problems, particularly those related to infrastructure and the environment.

In addition, most major urban and industrial centres are situated in low-lying plain and coastal areas, which are vulnerable to impacts by climate change.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung said urban development is one of the key tasks of his sector. He said the Government has been working on necessary institutions to address problems in this field.

The minister also emphasized the need to get the community and business circle involve in urban development besides the authorities.-VNA