World Bank Finds Vietnam Faces Future Urban Woes

Posted April 9th, 2012 at 3:50 am (UTC-5)
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A new World Bank report says rapid urbanization in Vietnam's main cities is driving home ownership out of reach of most residents and raising the threat of transportation gridlock.

The report, titled Vietnam Urbanization Review, notes that no country has reached high-income status without first becoming urbanized. In Vietnam, it says, urban population growth is about 3.4 percent with the fastest growth in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

But the report says only about 5 percent of residents in those cities can afford the homes now being built by large developers. The World Bank says local governments should pay more attention to developing affordable housing.

The report also warns that road systems in the two cities are not ready to accommodate growing numbers of automobiles as many Vietnamese begin to exchange their motor bikes for cars. The bank suggests that governments get ahead of the shift by developing better public transportation and integrating transit needs into land use planning.