[Bài nghiên cứu] Housing and Transportation in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City

Trung tâm Nghiên cứu Quốc tế (SCIS) xin giới thiệu bài nghiên cứu "Housing and Transportation in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City" của nhóm học giả Trương Hoàng Trương, Trương Thanh Thảo và Sơn Thanh Tùng (Khoa Đô thị học, ĐHKHXH&NV TPHCM) về vấn đề nhà ở và giao thông trên địa bàn TPHCM, Việt Nam. Sự phát triển đô thị nhanh chóng của TPHCM đã gây ra áp lực rất lớn đối với môi trường tự nhiên và cơ sở hạ tầng - dịch vụ, bao gồm cả khu nhà ở và giao thông. Bài nghiên cứu sẽ đi sâu, làm rõ hai vấn đề trên.

Executive Summary 

The rapid urban growth of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), driven by economic development and massive immigration, has put huge pressure on the natural environment and basic infrastructure and services, including the housing and transportation sectors. These circumstances have impacted the lives of local residents, especially the poor and disadvantaged, exacerbating social inequality. Many existing problems are rooted in the extent to which low-income and disabled people can afford and access housing and public transport.

The resources of the government to meet the residents’ needs are limited. Policies to mobilize non-state resources have so far not proven efficient on the ground. Private investors in housing do not meet the needs of the poor in reality, while non-state stakeholders including civil society are not allowed to participate in the planning process. Housing policies are also challenged by the value of land and land use rights, which are highly dependent on the socio political system of the country.

In a similar way, the old spatial urban planning procedures of HCMC are no longer appropriate. They make the traffic network difficult to improve and fail to connect people from remote areas. The participation of non-state stakeholders has to some extent diversified the transportation modes, but it has not really improved the mobility of the poor and the disabled. Civil society including residents’ representatives is not able to participate in the decision-making process to ensure they benefit from the transport policies. 

Participation is considered one of the solutions for these problems, but it has not been efficiently enforced on the ground due to the existing socio-political system of Viet Nam. There has been gradual progress in the participation of non-state stakeholders and local governments in socio-economic development policy process since the start of the Doi Moi (“renovation”, or economic reforms) policy in 1986. Under the reforms, Viet Nam shifted from a highly centralized hierarchical state towards a set of arrangements characteristic of a market economy. The central government Communist Party decentralized power to local authorities, stat enterprises and the market to design and manage economic policies, provision of public services and regulation. However, progress has been rather slow or sometimes stagnant, especially regarding civil society. These agents remain under the tight control of the government and are denied their rights. The State-owned press is also fully controlled by the Party, although social media is an important channel for social debates to inform government policies. Additionally, though participation is encouraged, the government has not laid out any explicit mechanism for participation by the people. Besides, a lack of information continues to hinder the participation of local authorities (particularly at commune level) and citizens in the process of policy making. The collective leadership in the traditional administrative system hinders accountability, which leads to corruption and an unresponsive governance system, especially in the delivery of public services. This undermines the process of participation.

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