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Urban Development

Answers to more of your questions on rapidly growing cities

Dean Cira's picture

Cũng có ở Tiếng việt

Dean Cira

 (Urban specialist Dean Cira recently answered in a video 5 questions on rapidly growing cities that had been submitted to us by internet users. This post addresses a few additional questions).

 Manh Ha from Vietnam asked:  Urban planning currently focuses too much on having new buildings, which increases the population and construction density and reduces living environment in size. What planning model do you think Vietnam should follow?


There is a popular belief among planners and among Vietnamese generally that densities of the major urban centers of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City need to be reduced to improve the quality of life.  But if we look at the density of Hanoi, we actually see that by Asian standards, it is not particularly dense.

Trả lời thêm câu hỏi về thành phố phát triển nhanh chóng

Dean Cira's picture

 Also available in English

Dean Cira

 (Chuyên gia về đô thị Dean Cira trong một video mới đây đã trả lời 5 câu hỏi về các thành phố phát triển nhanh chóng do độc giả gửi về qua mạng internet. Trong bài viết này, ông Dean sẽ trả lời thêm một số câu hỏi nữa.)

Mạnh Hà từ Việt Nam hỏi: Đô thị hóa hiện nay tập trung quá nhiều vào xây dựng mới, làm tăng mật độ dân số và xây dựng và làm môi trường sống của người dân bị thu hẹp lại. Theo ông thì đâu là mô hình quy hoạch mà Việt Nam nên sử dụng?


 Có một niềm tin phổ biến trong các nhà quy hoạch và người Việt Nam nói chung là cần giảm tải mật độ của các trung tâm đô thị lớn ở Hà Nội và thành phố Hồ Chí Minh để cải thiện chất lượng cuộc sống. Nhưng thực sự là, nếu xét theo tiêu chuẩn Châu Á thì mật độ của Hà Nội không phải là quá dày đặc. 

Your questions answered: living in rapidly growing cities

Huong Lan Vu's picture

 Last week I asked you to send us your questions about the challenges faced by rapidly urbanizing countries. Please see below my video with urban specialist Dean Cira, where he addresses 5 of the many questions received. Dean will follow up soon with a blog post tackling some of your other questions and comments. Thanks!

Wanted: Your questions on challenges and benefits of living in the city

Huong Lan Vu's picture
Dean Cira will answer some of your questions in a video

Urbanization itself cannot guarantee economic growth, but it does appear to be an inevitable process on the way to development: no country has achieved high income status without first urbanizing, and nearly all countries become at least 50% urbanized before fully reaching middle income status.

The trick is in how to manage this process in a way that plays up the benefits and minimizes the challenges it brings.

When I was a little child, we lived in a 30m2 house in the suburbs of Hanoi, Vietnam, with intermittent supplies of power and clean water. But I enjoyed playing on the quiet and clean street in front of my house. Twenty years later, my whole neighborhood has been nicely renovated; there’s enough electricity to run all appliances in my house, including two air conditioners. But I get stuck in traffic every day on my way to work, and the smog is so thick I can hardly breathe, even with a mask on my face.

Urbanization has arrived to my hometown with both advantages and challenges. However, noises, heavy traffic, and air and water pollution are not unique to Hanoi. They can be observed in many cities in emerging countries all over the world (such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, or Nigeria). The Vietnam Urbanization Review notes that if these challenges are well managed, they will allow cities like Hanoi to retain its unique charm and livability while enjoying the benefits that urbanization brings.   

Do you have any questions on how to ease traffic congestion? Or dealing with high housing prices in your city? Do you want to share your own experiences? What are your concerns when moving in or out of a city?

Our urban expert, Dean Cira, is here to answer your questions. 

Send your question now using the comment function below to ask him and he’ll address on video five of all the questions received. We’ll take questions until the end of Wednesday, June 20. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by sending your questions to @worldbankasia.

Urban population (% of total)


Data from World Bank

Four years on: What China got right when rebuilding after the Sichuan earthquake

Vivian Argueta Bernal's picture
The devastation from the Sichuan earthquake was immense; the recovery, impressive.

Four years ago on May 12, 2008, the world was stunned by the news of an 8-magnitude massive earthquake that struck Wenchuan of Sichuan Province and affected, in total, ten provinces in Southwestern Ch

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Abhas Jha's picture

The Japanese phrase “Shikata ga nai (仕方がない)  -loosely translated as "it can't be helped" -captures the essence of the resilience and sense of duty towards one’s community that the Japanese people displayed in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Live web chat - How can cities prepare for and manage floods?

Claudia Gabarain's picture

Copyright Gideon MendelFloods are the most frequent among all natural disasters. In 2010 alone, 178 million people globally were affected by floods. More than 90 % of the global population exposed to floods lives in Asia.


Cities and PPPs: I’ve got Ulaanbaatar on my mind

David Lawrence's picture
Photo courtesy of

I recently read a quote by Edward Glaeser, an urban economist, in the latest issue of IFC’s quarterly journal on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which caught my attention:

Statistically, there is a near-perfect correlation between urbanization and prosperity among nations. As a country’s urban population rises by 10 percent, the country’s per capita output increases by 30 percent.

Tujuh tahun kemudian: Mengingat tsunami di Aceh

David Lawrence's picture

Juga tersedia di English

Jumlahnya terus meningkat. Pada awalnya dilaporkan 13.000 jiwa. Keesokan harinya menjadi 25.000. Lalu dilaporkan kembali 58.000. Di penghujung minggu, pada tanggal 1 Januari 2005, jumlah korban tsunami di Asia telah mencapai 122.000. Dan jumlah tersebut terus meningkat, tidak ada satu orang pun yang tahu kapan jumlah tersebut akan berhenti meningkat.

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