The mushrooming of high-rise buildings in HCM City’s central districts is causing severe traffic problems, experts warn.

In the last five years 63 housing complexes were developed in the city centre. Since 2007, around 85 office buildings, hotels, and shopping malls with a total area of nearly 1.1 million square metres have been licensed.

Around 40 high-rises were built in the city just this year, half of them in District 1, 3, 4, 5 and 11.

Many shopping malls like Diamond Plaza, Parkson, Kumho Asiana Plaza, and Vincom are in close proximity to each other in the city centre, which causes roads in the area to get clogged, especially during rush hour.

Most high-rise buildings, which also house places of recreation, have come up on streets that were already congested – like Cao Thang, Vo Van Tan, Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Streets, all of which are in District 1 or 3 or both.

Many streets leading to the downtown area, such as Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh, Cach Mang Thang Tam, Vo Thi Sau, Dien Bien Phu, and Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Streets are extremely congested during rush hour.

The Department of Transport says it is necessary to assess the impact of high-rise buildings on traffic in an area since the city’s roads are still poor and need upgrading.
Traffic infrastructure needs to keep pace with the construction of high-rise downtown buildings, it says.

Dr Khuat Viet Hung, deputy chief of the Institute of Transport Management and Planning, said it is vital to develop public transport before building high-rise buildings in the central districts to ease traffic.

Dr Nguyen Xuan Vinh, a lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University, said the best way to ease traffic congestion in the city centre is by minimising construction of high-rise buildings in the area and on streets leading there.

HCM City, which has nearly eight million residents, is one of the most densely populated cities in the country./.