Hanoi to triple in size over next 12 years

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HANOI, April 2 – Hanoi will be doubled in population and tripled in size in the next 12 years, by decree of the People’s Council.

The resolution still awaits approval in the National Assembly. If approved, Ha Tay province, Me Linh district and a sizable portion of Luong Son District will merge with the capital, an expansion that will boost its size to nearly 3,500 square kilometer, and swell its population to some six million people.

The plan is part of a larger goal to help Hanoi catch up and even surpass Ho Chi Minh City as an economic and cultural hub. The expansion is intended to facilitate the construction of technology and industrial parks, cultural centers, and satellite urban zones.

Many foresee social and urban management problems if plans for expansion go ahead. The city is still critically short of skilled managers, and the infrastructure needed to support the proposed development is widely regarded as inadequate. Furthermore, the focus on economic and business growth has some worried that it will come at the price of workers’ welfare.

Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen The Thao summed up the situation thusly, “It’s easy to build a big Hanoi, but we want to build a modern Hanoi that meets regional standards.”