MINISTRY OF EDUCATION & TRAINING
MINISTRY OF CONSTRUCTION
HANOI ARCHITECTURAL UNIVERSITY
Nguyễn Thanh Quang
DEVELOPMENT CONTROL FOR CENTRAL AREA OF
HO CHI MINH CITY IN THE INTEGRATION
Major in Urban and Building Management
PH.D. THESIS IN BRIEF
This thesis has been completed in HANOI ARCHITECTURAL
Supervisor: Professor Đỗ Hậu
Examiner 1: Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Trọng Hòa
Examiner 2: Dr. Đào Ngọc Nghiêm
Examiner 3: Prof. Dr. Lưu Đức Hải
The thesis is presented and defended at the Thesis Panel of: Hanoi
Architectural University at………h……., on …….……2013
The thesis is kept at the National library and the library of Hanoi
LIST OF AUTHOR’S PUBLISHED RESEARCHES
1. Research at City (Hanoi) level: “Xây dựng và quản lý không gian
xanh trong các khu đô thị mới tại Hà Nội đến năm 2020 với sự
tham gia của cộng đồng”, 2008-2010, research member.
2. Research at Ministry level (Ministry of Construction): “Điều tra,
khảo sát, nghiên cứu đề xuất cơ chế chính sách cải tạo, chỉnh
trang, phát triển khu vực trung tâm Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh”,
năm 2010-2012, research member.
3. Research at City (Ho Chi Minh city) level: “Nghiên cứu khung
lồng ghép các yếu tố biến đổi khí hậu vào công tác quy hoạch đô
thị ở Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh”, năm 2009 – 2013, research
1. Toàn cầu hóa sự phát triển không gian của Trung tâm thành phố
Hồ Chí Minh – The “Quy hoạch Xây dựng” Journal - The
institute for Architecture and Urban and Rural Planning, No.33
2. Bức tranh phát triển và quản lý đô thị dưới tác động của hội nhập
quốc tế - The “Quy hoạch Xây dựng” Journal - The institute for
Architecture and Urban and Rural Planning, No. 60, 2012.
3. Giải pháp tăng cường kiểm soát phát triển khu trung tâm thành
phố Hồ Chí Minh – The Journal of Construction, no.2, 2013.
Necessity of the research
The market economy and international integration, together
with promotion of industrialization and modernization has created
many powerful forces for social and economic development in
general and our country’s urban centers in particular. Thank to the
outstanding competitiveness compared with other regions, the urban
center is the most attractive to lure the interest of investors and
developers in commercial and service sectors. For these reasons, the
development of building are strongly surged and diversified in terms
of number and shape that made the urban management become more
complicated. The management is sometimes exceeded the control of
local government and its agencies, negatively impacted on the urban
land use, structure and space creation, and thus the negativities and
In centre of Ho Chi Minh City, the rate of space development
and construction activities are quickly and strongly. A large number
of office buildings, commercial centers, high-rise condominiums and
houses have appeared densely, but lacking of control.
The balanced and consistent development in city centre is a
goal set in the city development towards the international standard of
life and urban environment. In order to achieve the goal, the
enhancement of the space development control is an indispensable
solution and plays a key role in the urban management. From such
the necessity, the topic of “Development Control for Central Area of
Ho Chi Minh City in The Integration Context” is selected for this
PhD’s thesis with the major in urban and building management.
Establishing the model of control, the apparatus structure and
criteria of development control for urban centres, as well as
enhancing the essential measures to improve the efficiency of
control activities for urban centers development in Vietnam and Ho
Chi Minh City in particular towards the international standards of
life and urban environment in international integration.
Object and Scope of the Research
3.1. Object of research
The research object is the development control of the existing
central area of Ho Chi Minh City within the process of implementing
the approved urban plans in terms of physical space or urban space.
The urban space is viewed as the space, architectural buildings,
green areas etc. that directly impact the appearance of the city and its
space (Law on Urban Planning).
3.2. Scope of Research
The existing central business district of Ho Chi Minh City
(regulated as document No.2940/SQHKT – QHKTT issued by
Department of Planning and Architecture, sent to Project
Management’s Committee relevant to the construction planning of
Ho Chi Minh City’s central business district about 930ha,
comprising a part of District 1, District 3 and Binh Thanh District)
Timing: until 2020 and vision to 2030
The Significance of the Research
Concretizing, supplementing, perfecting and enriching the
ratiocination issues of urban management science in general and
controlling the urban development in particular, this has controlled
the development of the regions of urban center.
Contributing to the perfection and enhancement of urban
management performance in general and controlling the urban
development in particular, including urban centers to aim at
promoting the role, position and function of the urban centers in the
process of industrialization, modernization and international
integration of Vietnam's urban, as well as researching and training.
The contribution value/contents of the thesis:
The clarification on theoretical basis for urban space
A proposal for Development control system for Ho Chi
Minh City’s space development with the Functional Top-down
Model. The system is independent and under the City Government
(Ho Chi Minh City’s people committee)
A proposal for an apparatus for urban space development
control system, which is structured at three administrative levels:
city, district and ward.
A set of criteria for spatial development control for Ho Chi
Minh City which consists of eight components focusing on the
management for basic activities of spatial use and development.
The solutions to improve the efficiency of Ho Chi Minh
City’s urban space development control.
Structure of the thesis
Beside the introduction and conclusion, the thesis consists of 3
Chapter 1: Overview of the development and development
control of Ho Chi Minh City’s existing central business district in
Chapter 2: Scientific bases for the control and the
development control of the central business district in large cities
Chapter 3: Some control solutions to develop Ho Chi Minh
City’s central business district in integration.
Basic definitions related to the research
“Centre Area Space Development Control”
CONTENT OF THE THESIS
Chapter 1: OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND
DEVELOPMENT CONTROL OF HO CHI MINH CITY’S
EXISTING CENTRAL AREA IN THE INTEGRATION
Overview of the spatial development of central area in
Vietnam’s large Cities
In the process of development of constructed land in urban
towns (urban land), the central business district will be developed
and, especially the central business district of city grade 1 under
government (the national centers).
Under the influence of the market economy and the integration
trend, in urban center, the functional groups of banking and finance,
commerce and service have been trending towards the strong and
rapid development, overwhelming the other ones. As a result, site
coverage, plot ratio, floor area density and average high limit are
higher than those of others in the city. Many hotels, restaurants,
banks, supermarkets, newspaper publishing, telecommunications,
discotheques, office buildings etc. have occupied the prime
locations, replaced the housing, health and education projects, etc.
broken the planning and traditional landscape of the central business
district. Green area occupied only 1-2 % of the construction land,
causing the negativities and the cramped in the construction planning
and the central business district’s environment.
Development status of the central business districts in large
cities, especially cities under the government, has achieved the basic
Many areas of central business district in cities have been
more beautiful, civilized and modern, but still keep the image of
planned space, value architectural works and specific characteristic
of planning, architecture and construction of central business district
in cities, such as the ancient towns, French towns.
In order to re-develop, land use purpose in areas with the
building works that were inconsistent with central functions, low
economic efficiency etc. will be conversed in the central business
district. It not only increased the land value but also created the new
architectural and the urban space.
The preservation, restoration and promotion of the values of
heritage, architecture, history, culture, religion etc. should be
focused on utilizing.
The upgrading, improvement and modernization of the
technical infrastructure in central business district (sidewalks, street
lights, power supply, water supply and drainage); the embellishment
of streets and squares (railway stations, bus stations, public areas,
etc.); the construction of bridges, overpasses; the solidification of
embankments of streets, lakes and rivers; and the construction of the
public utilities etc. did enliven and diversify the spaces and activities
in the central business district and facilitate the business operations
and meet daily demand of residents.
Besides above results, there are some shortcomings:
There has been a lack of legal bases for the consistent and
effective development, such as the detail plan and urban design,
regulations of planning management etc. The architecture status and
construction in the central business district of cities have been
inconsistent, disorder and un-discipline.
The uncontrollability of high-rise buildings in some narrow
areas of the central business district, lakeside and surroundings of
public areas etc. has led to the overload of technical infrastructure,
traffic jam, polluted environment, decrease of green area and parking
lots etc. broken the landscape and the harmony of environment and
ecology in cities.
The public areas, green areas, water surface, sidewalks, and
parks have been decreased due to the encroachment caused the
congestions, the disturbance and the cramped in urban centres and
lack of the harmony between the architectural works (man-made) and
natural environment (nature made).
The unharmonious architecture, disorder signboards,
interlaced power lines, unsafe and encroachment of sidewalks and
streets etc. have causes disarrangement, uncivilized effects in many
areas belong to old and crowded towns.
The status of projects, delayed and stagnant construction of
infrastructure component has not only been waste of investment
capital but also caused the disorder in cities.
1.2. Current development situation of Ho Chi Minh City’s
existing central area
The total land area of the existing city center is approximately
930 ha, comprising 678.69ha of civil zone, occupied 74.2% and
238.74ha of non-civil zone, occupied 25.8% (the zone served for
religion, industry, military and water surface, etc.)
In civil zone, residential area occupies 15.9%, public area
16.7%, commercial area 12.0%, transportation area 25.8%, green
area 3.8%. If compared with the public area (administration, culture
– sport, infrastructure, education and health), commercial and
service area occupies the high ratio in the functional correlation of
the urban centre and in economic structure of city centre.
After the Vietnam government mandated the Doi Moi Reform
in 1986 and from 90s of last century, Ho Chi Minh City’s central
business district has been developed and expanded towards the West
and the Northwest. The central business district was proposed to
adjust the scale by 2006, increased total area of 930ha. Under
impacts of the market economy and the Doi Moi Reform of
Vietnam’s Communist Party and State relevant to economic – social
development, mobilization of resources of all economic sectors etc.
the functions of banking, finance, commerce and service were
rapidly grown in Ho Chi Minh City’s central business district. They
grew fast as business value, transaction offices, services, land and
In central business district, the landscape architecture has been
improved as modernization, civilization, beautification and
cleanliness. The core of District 1’s centre with high-rise buildings,
strips of trees alongside the streets and green areas, such as 30/4
Park, 23/9 Park, etc. has created the harmony between natural
landscape and architecture works.
Besides, there are many cultural heritages, history monuments
to be preserved and embellished, such as People's Committee, Notre
Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, Children's Hospital, etc.
The low-rise areas and inconsistent landscape along Saigon River,
with existing functions are the close port, harbor and riverside parks to
be relocated to replace better and more lucrative others.
However, Ho Chi Minh City and its central business district
have been faced with difficulties and challenges in the development
process, such as the unstable economic growth, the development of
technical and social infrastructure not matching the fast ratio of
urbanization, the stagnant and cumbersome management of
government not matching the social demand. Many arising
negativities must be solved by the authorities. The government is
facing with difficulties in developing stably and consistently.
1.3. The current control of spatial development in Ho Chi Minh
City’s existing central area
The control of spatial development in central business district
is a synthetic activity, including many sections (land use, urban
planning and design, preservation, landscape and environment,
safety, transportation, etc.) belonging to the governmental authorities
(Construction, Natural Resources and Environment, Culture,
Transportation, Police, etc.) and divided as many levels being in
charge of specific forces.
In general, the status of construction, urban and spatial
development in central business district has been changing orderly
and consistently. The control of construction has been improving
effectively. The number of legal construction works has been
increasing, and otherwise.
Figure 1.1. Violations of construction and urban order in Ho Chi
Minh City, from 2009 to 2011
(decreased 25% y-o-y)
(decreased 17.3% y-o-y)
(decreased 10.12% y-o-y)
Urban order violation
(Source: Ho Chi Minh City Construction Office)
Ho Chi Minh City’s urban management apparatus in general
and control of urban development in particular (including the central
business district) is structured as 3 levels with the participation of
many specialized sections to be undertaken by specific inspectors.
The coordination of the City Construction Inspector has been
accomplished consistently between levels as regulated. Besides, it
has to co-ordinate other authorities and specific inspectors. The
construction inspector force and other sections have been
strengthened in terms of organizations, human resources and
practical skills, knowledge to promote for supervising, inspecting,
violation handling, control of construction and urban order.
1.4. Review of relevant published researches
Projects and scientific researches
1.5. Issues to be researched in the thesis
Issues relevant to the development control and the spatial
development control in central business district of cities.
Impact of the international integration on development and
urban management (opportunities and threats).
Build the scientific bases of the spatial development control
Recommend the organizational model of the control
systems, the control apparatus and the control criteria. And, perfect
some main solutions to enhance the effect of the city’s development
control and the spatial development control in central business
district of Ho Chi Minh City.
Chapter 2: BACKGROUND FOR THE RESEARCH OF
CONTROL AND THE DEVELOPMENT CONTROL OF THE
CENTRAL AREA IN LARGE CITIES
The thesis has used several methods, such as the expert
method, the information processing method, the materials, the
survey method, the forecasting method, the comparison method, etc.
2.2. Theoretical backgrounds for the spatial development control
in the central area
The thesis examines subjects of control activities, measures
of control activities, forms and modes of control, the organizational
model of control management system, etc.
2.3. Legal tools and bases for urban spatial development control
and central area.
The tools are used by the control apparatus for the spatial
development of cities in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular,
Planning and projection tools
Organization – administration tools
Education and popularization tools
Economy, technique and technology tools and etc.
Three tools of legal, planning and projection are main tools in
the management and control of urban development. They are the
foundation for considering and evaluating the implementation of
controlled subjects in construction, investment and utilization of
public areas and works in the cities in general and the central
business district in popular.
2.4. Major impacts on the spatial development control
There are many direct and indirect impacts on the performance
and success of development control in the cities and the central area
the key factors comprises mechanisms, policies and legal
documents, urban planning and other specialties, planning and
implementation progress of the programs, projects, organizational
structure of control apparatus, association between levels and
relevant authorities and communist’s involvement.
2.5. The integration impacts on urban development and
The international integration taken place in countries in the
region and the world have the positive impacts (opportunities) and
the negative impacts (threats) on the development of economy and
society in general, construction, development and urban
management in particular, including the central area. The thesis has
researched opportunities and threats from the integration.
2.6. Orientation of the planning and the spatial development
control in Ho Chi Minh City’s central area
The thesis has researched the orientation of development
planning of the functional spaces of central business district as detail
design and plan of Ho Chi Minh City’s existing central business
district by Nikken Sekkei (Japan), the option was selected, approved
and researched as orientation of spatial development control in
central business district.
2.7. Lessons of the control and development control in cities
Chapter 3: SOLUTIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT CONTROL
IN HO CHI MINH CITY’S CENTRAL AREA IN
3.1. Purposes and requirements for the solutions
The general purpose to build solutions for perfecting and
improving the performance of spatial development in cities in
general and central business districts in particular, included Ho Chi
Minh City and its central business district includes: targets for
development of economy and society, urban construction and
development, promotion of process of industrialization and
modernization, integration of international economics and regions;
improving the quality of life environment; developing civilized,
modern and stable cities; conserving and preserving the heritages,
ethic tradition, national character and culture.
The proposed solutions have to meet basic requirements below
Meet with the regulations, the regulations of panning
management, the urban architecture, the management regulations in
sections of land, housing natural resource and environment,
investment, construction, utilization of works and others.
Ensure the comprehensive and consistent control of city’s
development and its central business district in construction
Be scientific, realistic and applicable; make the positive
evolvement and improve the performance of the control.
Ensure the balance between the State’s interest,
communities, organizations, enterprises and individuals in
construction and investment of cities.
Ensure the fluency of the control, the transparency and
public disclosure in management and implementation, clear
assignment and decentralization; shirk responsibility and tasks.
Handle strictly violations of the subordinated management
agencies and objects.
3.2. Principles and process to control the development of Ho Chi
Minh City’s central area
Activities to control the city development in general and its
central business district in particular, must obey the following
The comprehensiveness consistency
The regularity and continuousness
The public disclosure and transparency
The justice and balance between interests
The fluency, sensitiveness, diversification and flexibility
3.2.2. Objects and process of control
Sort by type of works, developers and utilities
Sort by specialized sections
3.3. The solutions recommended for spatial development control
in Ho Chi Minh City’s existing central area
3.3.1. The structural model for spatial control in the city
The recommended model to apply the system organization for
control in city (physical and material space or city space) is the
model of online controlled organizational system – functions. The
model is structured as 3 management levels
There are 3 levels in the organizational model of Ho Chi Minh
Municipal agencies (department)
Group/ Team (wards, townships, communes)
3.3.2. Apparatus structural model to control the spatial
development of Ho Chi Minh City and its central area
For Ho Chi Minh City: at the city level, the agency to control
the urban development will be a contact point belonging to the
People's Committee, out of control of Construction Department. The
Inspection Division belongs to Construction Department, in charge
of the administrative activities of the department and specialized
internal activities, co-ordination and control of city’s development in
concerned sections. The inspectors of Construction Department and
other functional departments are responsible for co-ordination with
the agency/department of urban development control in activities of
city’s spatial development control in necessary cases.
Main functions of agency/ department of urban spatial
Consult the relevant authorities about the control of city
spatial development, including field of city spatial development
Implement the function of administrative control relevant to
construction investment, improvement, utilization of architecture
objects and public areas in the city; control the activities of
organizations and individuals in construction investment and
utilization of urban spaces (including central area)
Main duties of agency of urban development control:
Supervise and control the activities of spatial urban
construction and utilization of individuals and organizations to
prevent the violations relevant to planning, projection and
Inspect and handle the violations of the organizations and
individuals in the spatial urban construction, investment and
utilization as regulations of planning, architecture planning
management, projection and Law.
Coordinate with the hierarchical authorities and the
inspector force under other departments/ agencies in the control of
activities assigned duties.
For the organizational apparatus of agency of urban
development control in Ho Chi Minh City and its central business
district, the author recommends below:
The apparatus of urban development control shall be structured as 3
Control the cities directly under municipal People's
Committee, there will be a specialized division to control the central
business districts (similar to division of planning and architecture
management – central agency – of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department
of Planning and Architecture)
Control the district’s cities directly under district People’s
Committee. For districts have a part of area in the central business
district, it shall have a separated division to control the development
in the central business district. The division must be under control of
district’s agency and division of urban development control in the
central business district, belonging to city’s agency of urban
Control the ward, commune or township’s city.
Teams/groups to control wards in the central business district are
under control of district management agency and division of local
urban development control in the central business district (due to
some district have a part of area belong to the central business
All hierarchical agencies of urban development control have to
be under administrative control of the peer authorities. They have to
co-ordinate and co-operate with the specialized inspection division
and relevant departments.
The apparatus to control the city’s development control
includes the State’s administrative apparatus relevant to urban
development of the city and the control activities of political – social
organizations, enterprises, communities and residents. The State’s
administrative agencies are leaders.
Figure 1.2. Organizational apparatus to control the development of
Ho Chi Minh City and its central area (recommended by the author)
Central control division
District’s urban control
Central control team
Ward’s urban control
in commune, ward and
City’s administrative control apparatus
City’s urban control apparatus
Participation of political – social organizations, enterprises, communities and
City’s urban control