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Nov 30, 2023 / 12:30

Smart city development emphasizes people as priority: Hanoi vice chairman

The growth of every city hinges on environmentally friendly and sustainable development, with a focus on people-centered approaches.

Hanoi is committed to realizing smart city development, emphasizing people-centric initiatives and contributing to the creation of a sustainable and eco-conscious Asia, said Ha Minh Hai, Vice Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee, at the "Smart City in Asia" seminar held in Hanoi on November 29.

 Ha Minh Hai, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee speaks at the event. Photos: Thanh Hai/ The Hanoi Times

The event is part of the Vietnam-Asia Smart Cities Summit 2023, which is being held in Hanoi from November 29 to 30.

The Deputy Mayor noted that most of Asia's growth is concentrated in urban areas, which are home to more than two billion people. He underscored the rapid pace of urbanization and highlighted potential challenges such as traffic congestion, water and air quality issues, poverty, inequality, the urban-rural divide, and concerns about the safety and security of citizens.

To address these challenges, he emphasized the critical role of digital technology solutions aimed at improving access to services, enhancing quality of life and creating inclusive living, working and learning environments in both urban and rural areas.

Putting people first

At the seminar, speakers from both national and international perspectives agreed that any solution for smart city development should prioritize people-centered approaches.

 Speaker Non Arkaraprasertkul from Thailand's Digital Economy Promotion Agency

Non Arkaraprasertkul, a senior expert from Thailand's Digital Economy Promotion Agency, emphasized that the core principle in building smart cities should revolve around residents. He suggested that countries, including Vietnam, should promote the participation of citizens and stakeholders in the development of smart cities, using digital platforms and technologies through public-private partnerships.

"We can leverage the availability of clean air and clean water in every corner of the city to guide the development of smart cities and improve the quality of life. This is our idea when we envision the development of smart cities," he said.

Alias Rameli, director-general of Malaysia's Department of Town & Country Planning (PLANMalaysia), also said that key success factors in building smart cities include putting people at the center, incorporating them into urban planning, fostering collaboration, implementing sustainable technologies, promoting data sharing and integration, and developing a robust digital infrastructure.

"Building a smart city is based on smart people, not just smart technology," Rameli said.

Hanoi's delegates at the seminar.