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Nov 03, 2023 / 22:25

Long Bien District emerges as new center on banks of Red River

With proper planning and synchronized infrastructure investment, Long Bien has gradually become a magnet for investors.

Offering an appealing and desirable living environment, Long Bien District has led to a surge of people moving to the opposite bank of the Red River, contributing to the decongestion of downtown Hanoi.

 Long Bien District from above. Photo: The Hanoi Times

When it was established in 2003, Long Bien District still retained a distinct rural character in the minds of some leaders and residents. Simultaneously, the district faced economic challenges. Nevertheless, Long Bien's leaders decided to change such perception and prioritize comprehensive planning to achieve a breakthrough.

District leaders had to secure financial resources for planning, even resorting to unconventional methods. During the planning process, the district encouraged innovative and audacious approaches, resulting in numerous achievements. In just two years, Long Bien had developed a detailed 1/2,000 plan for land use, transportation, and technical infrastructure.

The district also became the first jurisdiction to decentralize planning within the city, announcing 60 planning projects and approving 236 detailed plans. Through these planning efforts, Long Bien, despite limited investment resources at its inception, prioritized the development of foundational infrastructure such as electricity, roads, schools, stations, flower gardens, parks, and more. This transformation contributed to the swift and modern development of a previously rural district into Hanoi's vibrant and contemporary urban hub.

Long Bien has now evolved into a cluster of large, harmonious, and modern urban areas, including Viet Hung, Sai Dong, Bo De, Thach Ban, Vinhomes Riverside, Rice Home Song Hong, Hanoi Garden City, Vinhomes The Harmony, Berriver Long Bien, among others. This transformation has significantly reshaped the urban landscape.

In addition, it has also emerged as the "new center" of Hanoi, an attractive and desirable place to live, resulting in a migration of Hanoi people to the other side of the Red River, thereby alleviating population pressure in the city. The district has truly become one of the most bustling and vibrant areas in the capital.

With proper planning and synchronized infrastructure investment, Long Bien has gradually become a magnet for investors, thereby boosting revenue from land resources and significantly contributing to the district's budget. As of 2021, Long Bien is one of the city's top revenue-generating units, with nearly VND13 trillion (US$528.6 million), a 48-fold increase from its early days.

Long Bien now boasts over 20,000 businesses and individual business households, including many prominent economic corporations and enterprises that have demonstrated the district's allure and robust development. Even in the face of the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2022, the district achieved a revenue of VND11.35 trillion ($461.5 million), underscoring its economic resilience and success.

In the realm of public administration, Long Bien district has embraced administrative reform, focusing on three core aspects: human resource development, process standardization, and information technology implementation. For several years, Long Bien has consistently ranked first among districts, towns, and areas in Hanoi's administrative reform index.

The district has systematically reviewed and shortened the processing time for hundreds of administrative procedures, reducing them to 1 to 20 working days compared to previous timelines.

The establishment of an internal process for receiving and resolving administrative matters for all procedures has streamlined management, allowing for close monitoring of implementation time and the responsibilities of individuals and relevant units. This has reduced bureaucratic bottlenecks and expedited document processing.

Since 2016, Long Bien has been a pioneer in providing Stage 3 online public services in various fields, including civil status, justice, urban management, culture, and sports.

Several other districts and provinces have visited Long Bien to learn its administrative reform model, aimed at better serving the needs of the people and businesses. Moreover, Long Bien has taken the lead as the first district in the city to fully support voluntary social insurance contributions for poor and near-poor households, marking a significant step in social security improvement.

 Long Bien Park is one of the 20 infrastructure projects to mark the 20th anniversary of the Long Bien District. Photo: Phuong Dong/The Hanoi Times

Becoming a model district

Hanoi is currently in the process of revising its general planning until 2045, with a vision for 2065. This represents a unique opportunity to transform Long Bien into a 'new center' along the banks of the Red River, aligning with the expectations of Party, state, and city leaders for the development of Long Bien District.

During a meeting with Long Bien’s authorities in early 2021, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, then Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, stressed the importance of developing and overseeing environmentally friendly, smart, and modern urban areas within the district. The goal is to make Long Bien a benchmark district in the city.

According to Architect Vu Hoai Duc, there is still significant potential for development in Long Bien to meet the aspirations of the Government and people. With 2,250 hectares of riparian land outside the dyke, accounting for 37% of the district's natural land, it is essential to awaken this space by encouraging both state and community investments and mobilizing social resources.

Duc said: “Therefore, the district needs a dedicated development program and should be cautious in preserving the "Green Corridor of the Red River" area as a necessary step shortly.”

Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, a lecturer at the Hanoi University of Construction, agreed, adding that Long Bien's development of the area along the Red River not only enhances the quality of the architectural landscape but also improves the climate, allowing the city's crowded crowded population to enjoy outdoor living spaces and water bodies. Long Bien district will promote initiatives for residents to plant greenery and create streetscapes to preserve a "green belt" for the city.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Long Bien District Nguyen Manh Ha stated that at this time, the government and the people are jointly recognizing the position and value of the "Dragon" land and are determined to build the district into a desirable place to live, with the key pillars being knowledge, the environment, health, and culture.

With this goal in mind, the district is proposing to the city the land management of  883 hectares of agricultural land outside the dyke and 341.2 hectares of unused land (reclaimed land along the Red River and the Duong River).

They are also accelerating the progress of several projects in the district, including the Tran Hung Dao Bridge, the Giang Bien Bridge, centralized wastewater treatment plants in Phuc Dong Ward, the upgrading of the Duong River water transport route, and the intersection of Co Linh Road and the Vinh Tuy Bridge. Some polluting production facilities will be relocated outside the district.

During working meetings held with Long Bien district, Dinh Tien Dung, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, acknowledged that while there are still some outstanding issues in urban management and maintaining law and order that require attention, the city is planning to prioritize Long Bien shortly.

“By fostering a culture of innovation, creativity, and a willingness to think boldly, act decisively, and assume responsibility, the goal is to transform Long Bien into a civilized, sophisticated, modern, and highly liveable district,” Dung said.