HCMC needs breakthroughs to attract investment in green park development

Although HCMC has a policy on attracting capital from social resources for investment in infrastructure development, including green parks, currently investment in park development must rely on public investment.

It needs a breakthrough in regulations and implementation to meet the urgent needs of citizens to enjoy public green spaces.

Lack of resources in the implementation

Vinhomes Grand Park in Thu Duc City (Photo: SGGP)

Before the Lunar New Year, the HCMC Department of Culture and Sports proposed the municipal People's Committee allow the Sen Hong stage to be reopened to serve audiences during the Tet holidays.

The stage covers an area of one hectare, including a theatrical floor area of 6,000 square meters, and is located in the 23/9 Park in District 1. The stage suspended operations for four years for renovation.

Around five years ago, the functional departments of HCMC agreed with the proposal on restoring the function of the 23/9 Park because parts of the park were turned into a stage and rented out, making the landscape unkempt. The municipal authorities organized a design contest for the makeover of a major park in its downtown area and approved the results of the contest to seek ideas for a new design of 23/9 Park. However, the renovation and embellishment work of the park has not been implemented yet.

Director of the Department of Planning and Architecture Nguyen Thanh Nha said that the urban planning projects include green spaces in accordance with planning criteria to meet the needs of people in the area, such as the National Historical and Cultural Park, parks in Thu Thiem and the south of Nguyen Van Linh Street... However, these constructions have not been implemented yet due to the lack of resources,

According to the HCMC Department of Construction, the city has 405 public parks covering an area of 508 hectares. Under a master plan for the development of public parks and trees during the 2020-2030 period, the city targets to develop an additional 150 hectares of green space in the period 2020-2025, and 450 hectares of public green parks in the period 2026 – 2030, and achieve the average area of the park of one square meter per person.

In order to achieve this goal, the HCMC Department of Construction has proposed construction projects of six additional parks with a total area of nearly 800 hectares, including Saigon Safari Park covering 485 hectares in Cu Chi District, a 128-hectare ecological forest within the new Thu Thiem Urban Area of Thu Duc City, 20-hectare park in the central square and riverside park in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, Go Cat Park in Binh Tan District covering on 13 hectares, 150-ha Thanh Xuan Park in District 12, and a ark covering on an area of 3.8 hectares in Binh Thanh District’s Ward 12.

HCMC has currently 405 parks with a total number of hectares of around 508. It is not easy to reach the proposed number of 800 hectares. According to urban planning, the city will have nearly 11,400 hectares of green parks, showing a large gap between planning and reality.

Flexibility in investment

23/9 Park in District 1 (Photo: SGGP)

The biggest challenge in developing public parks in HCMC is the lack of capital resources. The city doesn't have enough financial resources to implement construction projects for parks.

For example, in the period 2020-2025, the city sets a target to increase an additional 150 hectares of parks, which would require the implementation of at least 54 projects with a budget of over VND9,000 billion (US$367 million). However, as of early 2024, only four projects have been approved by the HCMC People's Council with a total capital of VND1,590 billion.

Calling on private investment in developing green parks has not yet been implemented because green parks do not belong to the sector of investment under the public-private partnership method.

Parks are public land managed by the state. It needs to comply with regulations regarding the management and exploitation of public assets. Currently, there are no regulations on the management, use, and exploitation of the park, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Construction Dang Phu Thanh stated.

According to the general planning of HCMC to 2040, with a vision to 2060, the city will allocate land funds for green space and public activities.

According to the HCMC Department of Construction, in 2023, the southern metropolis developed 8.2 hectares of public parks, and 32.45 hectares of public green spaces, and planted and revitalized 12,495 trees, surpassing the set targets.

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