Ho Chi Minh City authorities are drafting design and construction plans for urban areas along the first metro route, which is slated to become operational at the end of 2021, with the HCMC People’s Committee creating a team to study policies to exploit public lands along the line, which runs between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.
Multiple city departments, including those related to Natural Resources, the Environment and Planning and Investment are working with authorities in districts through along the metro line route to carry out the studies and feasibility plans.
A spokesman for Department of Planning and Architecture’s planning department said that the city wants to link public transport with urban development to ensure that public transportation develops sustainably while also maximizing the use of city land.
The metro is expected to become a major mode of transport in the city, and there will be hundreds of bus routes that are integrated with designated metro stations so that passengers can easily connect with residential areas, industrial parks, universities, and research institutes.
The city has multiple planning goals, but whether they can all be realized remains to be seen. These goals include:
• Develop high-rise apartments and residential complexes along the metro route, especially in the city’s eastern areas of District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc
• Develop land areas in conjunction with the planned new Thu Duc City, with public transportation playing a predominant role
• Develop public lands along the metro route for urban beautification
• Develop public spaces along the river wherever possible
• Design areas around stations so that people can walk conveniently and safely on sidewalks, which are designed with the hot, rainy climate of the city in mind
Projects should also provide solutions to other issues that include congestion and flooding while improving the landscapes along the metro route and residents’ quality of life.
On a long-term basis, a city spokesman said that low-rise buildings will be replaced by high-rise housing along the metro line to ensure there is land for building new parks and other public facilities. However, there are many areas along the route in the Binh Thanh District and District 2 that have already been developed, so it’s unclear whether city authorities would ask for urban development changes in these areas.
Real estate experts say that the city’s new planning is welcome, but that it may delay projects that have already been planned or are under development along the metro route, and they are eager to see the city’s plans presented for public review at the earliest possible date.