US helps Vietnam build smart cities

09:02 | 07/03/2018 Cooperation

(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to turn into a smart city, with the help of American technologies.

us helps vietnam build smart cities

US experts

Speaking at the second US-Ho Chi Minh City Smart Cities Dialogue on January 25, US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka outlined the recent US-Vietnam cooperation in this area. She said that in the past 12 months, the US Embassy in Hanoi and the US Consulate General in HCMC organized several workshops and seminars for Vietnamese government officials and project owners to introduce US smart-city concepts and technologies in healthcare, energy, cyber security, and transportation.

In late 2017, the US Department of State arranged for a delegation of five officials from HCMC to visit six American cities to meet smart city experts from the federal and local government, as well as US companies. The Department of Commerce also arranged for representatives of 14 US technology companies to travel to Vietnam’s central region cities, such as Nha Trang, Da Nang and Hue, to meet local leaders and seek cooperation opportunities in smart city development.

Many American governmental and nongovernmental organizations are cooperating with institutes and universities in HCMC, helping the city deal with growing urban development challenges, Tarnowka said.

Emergency services

According to HCMC People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong, the city wishes to receive further technical assistance from the US government and suggestions from American technology companies in the field of smart city development. HCMC pledged in return to create favorable conditions for US investors and businesses. In 2018, the city will concentrate on building operations, network security and socioeconomic development forecast simulation centers.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications and the US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) recently signed an agreement, under which the USTDA will provide US$880,333 to help HCMC build an integrated emergency communication system. The system will enable people to access emergency response services and enhance communication among city departments and sectors in case of fire, security and health emergencies.

In 2018, HCMC will concentrate on building operations, network security and socioeconomic development forecast simulation centers. Districts 1, 12 and the Thu Thiem New Urban Area have been chosen to pilot the smart city development. An emergency information center will be built to enable city residents and tourists to reach response services using one short dialing number, like 112 in the EU, or 911 in the US. Currently, the city uses three hotlines, 113, 114 and 115. This center should also be capable of receiving images from remote camera and sensor systems to deal with emergencies.

Ngoc Thao