HCM City riverside ideal site for service economy development: experts

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HCM City targets to develop landscape and service economy along Sài Gòn River by 2045. VNA/VNS Photo by Thanh Vũ

HCM CITY— HCM City should build more public spaces and develop the entertainment industry along the Sài Gòn River, experts say.

Ngô Thanh Vũ, an architect with the urban planning division of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, told Thanh Niên (Youth) newspaper that the river’s banks in the city comprise 3,100-5,000ha of land.

He suggested that the city uses 60 per cent of the area for planting trees and building parks, and 20 per cent for traffic infrastructure.

The remaining area could be devoted to museums, food courts, cultural houses, kids’ playgrounds, shopping facilities and outdoor theatres hosting exhibitions and art performances, he said.

In addition, the city could build underground areas to be used both as parking lots and as entertainment venues with pubs, karaoke parlours and other establishments.

Pedestrian and cycling spaces would add to the attractions, Vũ said.

The city should build traffic infrastructure linking up with local eco-tourism areas and historical relics like fruit gardens and the Củ Chi Tunnels, he added.

He also said the public constructions along the riverbanks should reflect the city’s history and culture, while entertainment areas should provide the best services to both residents and tourists.

In concurrence with Vũ, Nguyễn Hữu Nguyên of the Việt Nam Urban Planning and Development Institute said that the riverside area should be turned into a community space providing cultural and entertainment services.

It should be a weekend destination where local people can enjoy the beauty of the Sài Gòn River and services there, he added.

Nguyên suggested that the city considers adjusting its urban planning on riverside infrastructure, adding to it the riverside section in Thủ Đức City, which still has a lot of potential for developing the service economy.

Under the current plan to develop riverside landscapes and the service economy by 2045, the city will only focus on the section between District 1 and Củ Chi District. It will first improve the riverside landscape and traffic facilities by 2025, and continue developing green spaces and entertainment services for residents and tourists by 2045.

Other experts have suggested that certain facilities along riverbank like old shipyards, docks and warehouses are converted into areas offering shopping and a variety of entertainment services, like Singapore’s Clarke Quay.

Trần Văn Tường, a highway engineer in Thủ Đức city, said that with its gentle flow and scenic landscapes on both sides, boat tours along the Sài Gòn River could become a city specialty.

Economist Đinh Thế Hiển said that the riverbank, potentially high-value commercial land, should be used to develop high-class shopping and entertainment services that are linked with eco-tourism areas.

When the riverside infrastructure is developed, tourism and entertainment services would automatically follow, boosting socio-economic economic development, he added. — VNS

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