HCM City plans extensive urban development along metro route hinh anh 1HCM City’s first metro line that is coming up along the Hanoi Highway. (Photo: VNA)

– Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities are drafting design and construction plans for urban areas along the first metro route, which is slated to become operational at the end of 2021.

The municipal People’s Committee has set up a team to study policies to exploit public lands along the line, which runs between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Planning and Investment are working with authorities in the districts through which the line will run to carry out the studies.

Luong Thu Anh, head of the city Department of Planning and Architecture’s central planning management division, said the city plans to link public transport with urban development to save land and ensure public transportation develops sustainably. 

The metro is expected to become the main mode of transport, and there would be hundreds of bus routes connecting its stations with residential areas, industrial parks, universities, and research institutes, she said. 

People would be able to walk conveniently and safely on sidewalks, which would be designed with the hot, rainy climate of the south in mind, she added.

Experts said the city should earmark more public lands along the metro route for urban beautification in line with the plan to develop the new Thu Duc City, and public transport should be predominant. 

It should also use the river landscapes to create public spaces, they said.

The city also aims to develop high-rise apartments and other residential complexes along the metro route, especially in the city’s eastern part comprising districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc.

These projects must tackle city issues such as flooding and congestion and improve its landscapes and residents’ quality of life.

Low-rises will gradually make way for high-rise housing along the metro line to ensure there is land for building new parks, parking lots and other public facilities.

The city’s authorities are also developing a plan for design and construction of underground spaces around metro stations. 

Ly Khanh Tam Thao, head of the Department of Planning and Architecture’s technical infrastructure management division, said underground spaces full of state-of-the-art public facilities would be created, especially near the stations and the Ben Thanh Central Station. 

They would be developed into commercial centres over a period of years, she said.

Museums and other cultural spaces and drainage and flood prevention works would also be built in them, she added. 

The Ben Thanh Central Station will be the hub of the city’s metro network with all the lines converging there.

The underground complex will be built on an area of 45,000sq.m between the station and the Opera House. 

According to District 2 authorities, within a radius of 800m from Thao Dien and An Phu stations are six high-rise apartments, land plots and numerous low-rise houses. 

There are also public areas such as the Thao Dien market spreading over 1,700sq.m and the An Phu Swimming Club covering 3,674sq.m managed by the District Sports Centre.

There are two public lands measuring 3,600sq.m managed by the People’s Committee of Thao Dien Ward.

There are two more measuring 1,344sq.m managed by the People’s Committee of An Phu Ward. 

Thu Duc District will have five metro stations: Phuoc Long, Binh Thai, Thu Duc, High-Tech Park, and Suoi Tien. 

In Binh Thanh District, there will be two stations, Van Thanh and Tan Cang, within 500-800m of which will be housings, factory lands and public lands./.