The Prime Minister has issued a new regulation on urban planning aimed at curbing scattered and uncoordinated development and ineffective and wasteful investment.

Under Decision 11 taking effect in March, localities are required to subject areas to zoning according to residential use, new urban areas, for reservation or for special use.

The Head of the Ministry of Construction's Department of Urban Development, Do Viet Chien, said that the regulation will help address current shortcomings such as incompatibility between new urban areas and existing infrastructure.

Until now, most localities have based their approvals of development projects on master plans and suggested sites for investors only according to perceived trends in neighbouring areas and without due consideration given to actual infrastructure conditions in their own area, Chien said.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung said that urban development now faced growing challenges, including traffic congestion, encroachment on public land, illegal construction, and pollution.

Development projects, even in centrally-managed cities, were not planned properly, causing a waste of resources, he said.

About 55 per cent of cities and provinces nationwide have general plans and about one-fourth have detailed plans, Dung added, noting that the quality of planning was not sufficient to meet real-world demand.

The new decision also requires the establishment of management boards in designated urban areas. Urban development projects approved by the Prime Minister will be required to have management boards while their creation will be encouraged for other projects.

These boards will help authorities, including Ministry's and People's Committees, to monitor the development process and ensure that projects were compatible with existing infrastructure and other projects./.VNA