HCMC allows temporary use of sidewalks to restore urban aesthetic order

Ho Chi Minh City’s policy of collecting fees for temporary use of part of sidewalks and roadways aims to restore urban aesthetic order and fairness between users.
HCMC allows temporary use of sidewalks to restore urban aesthetic order.

HCMC allows temporary use of sidewalks to restore urban aesthetic order.

Ho Chi Minh City People's Council unanimously approved the sidewalk toll collection project as renting sidewalks should be done under strict monitoring. The City Department of Transport was assigned to start toll collection on January 1, 2024. Faced with a policy that involves millions of people, it is necessary to confirm a number of contents to have a consensus between city dwellers and the government.

Sidewalks in big cities today not only have the sole function of walking but also have many other functions, including the exchange of goods, forming a complex informal economic network, pavement economy greatly contributes to the national economy. Sidewalks are public property; thus, anyone who uses them for a long time to make a profit or for service or public service purposes must pay a fee. Sidewalk business is one of the typical cultures of Vietnam in addition to some countries. Big cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and many countries in Europe allowed businesses to pay for the use of sidewalks 15-20 years ago.

Thanks to fair and transparent policy, Bangkok and Singapore have been leasing sidewalks for more than 20 years under scientific management. For example, Bangkok City has more than 300,000 people doing business on the sidewalks. Authorities thoroughly use information technology in management, anyone doing sidewalk business must register and pay taxes. They have identification numbers and smartphones with positioning chips. Commercial streets, roads, and places where sales are allowed all have cameras installed; so, how sellers do their business is always under the control of local authorities.

Ho Chi Minh City's sidewalk toll collection starting in January 2024 is the beginning of a legitimate service including the rights and obligations between the government and sidewalk users. When organizations or individuals rent sidewalks according to contract terms, it means they must fulfill legal commitments. Thus, organizations and individuals renting sidewalks will be fined if they do wrong and their rental license will be revoked if they violate it multiple times. On the contrary, they are protected and guaranteed legal exploitation and use rights by district authorities.

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