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VNRE - Green urban area projects are now a new real estate investment trend, said Phan Thanh Mai, General Secretary of the Vietnam Real Estate Association at a seminar held by Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association and Hanoi Communications Association in Hanoi on December 10.
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The seminar, attracting more than 400 participants, is expected to be an annual event. It draws great attention from businesses and investors with green urban area projects, and is also an opportunity for the investors to plan their future property products.

What is a green urban area?

Mr Tran Ngoc Chinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association said the “green urban area” is a new concept, and it has attracted special attention from people and real estate investors. The model has become more important in the context of increasing environmental pollution in big cities. More people wish to have a house with open air and green space, along with modern facilities. A green urban area must satisfy seven criteria, including environmentally-friendly space, transport and infrastructure works, and good surrounding environment, Chinh added.

To date, Vietnam does not have any specific concept on green urban areas although a number of legal documents have mentioned green factors such as trees and water area in urban area projects. “In many current new urban areas, investors just aim for profit; therefore they plan little or no green area in their projects. Meanwhile, these areas are a very important living space bringing both economic and cultural value for the projects,” said Dr Luu Duc Hai, Deputy Head of Urban Planning and Development Institute.

Planning problems

According to Mr Hai, to ensure green elements in urban areas, urban planning should prioritise environmentally-friendly space which not only includes parks and water, but also green corridor and belt, ecological town, parks and high-quality agricultural production areas, flower growing areas and green preservation areas.

Mr Le Trong Binh, Head of the Vietnam Institute of Architecture under the Vietnam Association of Architects, said the strategy on Vietnam’s urban area development by 2010 and a vision to 2030 still lacks ecological and green urban area development orientations. A number of new urban areas in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other big cities include some elements from green and ecological urban area models. However, in reality, due to lack of criteria on green urban areas and research, surveys and classification on urban areas, many current urban areas often set their own standards. The quality of these urban areas depends on assessment of investors’ and people who live there.

Besides, green urban areas in Vietnam face difficulties like weak infrastructure, particularly transport and water supply systems.

Mr Phan Thanh Mai said, with increasing demand for an open living space, green urban areas will be a future investment trend. “Urban areas with significant green space will attract more customers. This is a good opportunity for investors,” Mai emphasised.

According to many experts, investors must put a higher initial investment into green urban area projects, and return on investment takes longer than other kinds of projects. So, the Government needs to have supporting policies for investors to carry out these projects. In addition, management agencies should apply strict sanctions on investors who fail to meet standards for green urban areas.

Source: VCCI News

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