Vietnam News

Poor public transport, pollution affect quality of life in HCMC

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Vietnam’s southern metropolis is rated among the world’s worst in terms of environment and public transport infrastructure by expats, a global survey has found.

HCMC ranked 55th out of 66 cities in the Quality of Urban Living Index, one of the criteria in the annual Expat City Ranking by InterNations, the world’s largest expat community with around four million members. Hanoi was not included in the survey.

In the transportation subcategory in the Quality of Urban Living Index, fewer than one in four rated HCMC’s public transportation infrastructure positively, compared to 66 percent globally.

The city also receives poor results in the health and environment subcategory. Only 27 percent of expats are happy with its urban environment, compared to 65 percent globally.

An American said, “HCMC is noisy and polluted, there are minimal green spaces, and some areas are very dirty.”

What made expats happiest about the city was the affordable cost of living, with 74 percent rating it positively, 28 percentage points above the global average.

Home to 13 million including migrants, HCMC discharges around 9,300 tons of domestic waste per day.

The city is setting up a network to sort out solid trash for recycling. The plan is to have 80 percent of the collected trash recycled by 2025, but that would require VND29 trillion ($1.25 billion) to prepare technologies and other resources, the city has said.

Improving public transport to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion is another goal, and the city’s latest proposal to impose tolls on cars entering the downtown area is one of the most drastic yet.

The city is seeking to spend VND393 trillion ($16.93 billion) over the next decade on a plan to improve access to public transport and limit the use of private vehicles.

Under the plan, unveiled last month, the city will have a comprehensive bus network by 2030, three metro lines and a bus rapid transit system.

The 2020 Expat City Ranking featured nine Asian cities. Singapore was in fifth place followed by Kuala Lumpur at eighth, HCMC at 19th, Shanghai at 21st, Bangkok at 30th, Tokyo at 53rd, Beijing at 55th, Hong Kong at 57th and Seoul 64th.

Globally, Valencia, Alicante, Lisbon, Panama City, Singapore, Málaga, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, and Abu Dhabi (10th) were the top 10 cities.

Salmiya in Kuwait was in 66th and last place below Rome, Seoul, Milan, Nairobi, Paris, Johannesburg, Santiago, Dublin, and Hong Kong.

By Minh Nga – – November 26, 2020   

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