HCM City to redo urban planning for Thu Thiem

HCMC, Feb 18, 2011. Major changes will be made to the 2005 master urban plan of Thu Thiem New Urban Area in HCMC’s District 2, with targets to increase the total floor space of construction facilities there by a staggering 43%, a city official said.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of Thu Thiem Investment and Construction Authority (Thu Thiem ICA), told a workshop on Thursday that the total floor space will be revised up to 7.7 million square meters to accommodate 160,000 residents, the latter figure also showing a 33% increase over the previous plan. That will also mean changes to the construction density and the height of buildings there.

U.S.-based consultant Sasaki Associates Inc. as the designer and Thu Thiem ICA have been tasked to make a study for the amendment of detailed planning of the scale 1/2,000 and urban design guidelines for the peninsula development.

Tuan told participants in the workshop held at the Rex Hotel in downtown HCMC on Thursday that the approved master plan in 2005 shaped an image for Thu Thiem, but some problems had occurred during implementation, thus adjustment was needed to improve the effectiveness of the future urban town.

Mitch Glass, project manager of the American consultant firm Sasaki Associates, elaborated that the goals of the master plan amendment this time included integration of the plan with infrastructure planning and adjustment of land use to meet current socio-economic conditions. Changes therefore will be made to construction density, heights, landmarks and block structure in the core area in the new urban town, he said.

The amendment will affect An Khanh, Thu Thiem, An Loi Dong, Binh An and Binh Khanh wards that have been zoned for the Core Area, Central Lake, Southern Delta region and Eastern Resident Area.

According the revised plan, Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which covers 657 hectares, will create workspace for 450,000 per day, as well as receive a million visitors every day.

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During its 300 year history, Ho Chi Minh City has evolved from a small riverbank settlement north of the Mekong Delta into a metropolis of over 6 million people. In the 21st Century, Ho Chi Minh City continues to be defined by its relationship with the water. Where the Saigon River once formed an edge of the city, the development of Thu Thiem—a 700-hectare peninsula located across from the historic city center—will transform the river into the heart of the city.

Thu Thiem New Urban Center Master Plan, 2006