World Bank: “Vietnam Urbanization Review”

Vietnam needs to seize its urbanization opportunities to become a middle income country

Hanoi, April 5, 2012 – Vietnam can more successfully harness the economic and social opportunities of urbanization and mitigate the challenges it poses if the urbanization process is managed in a way that will benefit all segments of society.

This is a central theme of a World Bank “Vietnam Urbanization Review.” Prepared in support of the Government of Vietnam’s strong emphasis on developing its system of cities, the report aims to provide a better understanding the key dimensions and aspects of Vietnam’s urbanization process, and identifying trends, opportunities, challenges, and core policy priorities for Vietnam.

“Vietnam is rapidly urbanizing,” said Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam. “The urbanization process will be an important part of Vietnam’s future and ensuring livable cities that can also compete regionally and globally will be a necessary part of Vietnam’s economic development strategy.”

According to the Report, Vietnam is urbanizing at a rate of 3.4% per year, most of which is in and around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Urbanization, especially in the two large economic centers, have a central role to play in Vietnam’s economic growth and poverty reduction story. However, existing urban systems of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are seriously limiting their competitive advantage, especially with regard to logistics bottlenecks, disproportionately high transport costs, growing congestion and land market distortions. The report suggests that in the largest cities, attention should be paid to improving urban transport and infrastructure systems, as well as strengthening the competitiveness of these economic regions.

Vietnam urbanization review : technical assistance report (English)


As Vietnam enters a crucial period of urbanization corresponding to its present stage of economic development, the Government of Vietnam has placed strong emphasis on developing its system of cities. In accordance with this objective this Urbanization Review is dedicated to understanding the key dimensions and aspects of Vietnam’s urbanization process and to identifying trends, opportunities, challenges and core policy priorities that the government will need to address in order to realize its objective. The Vietnam Urbanization Review was prepared following extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including officials from national and local government, private sector groups and international and bilateral organizations active in development assistance in the urban sector in Vietnam. It builds on a strong portfolio of World Bank engagements in investment and policy lending to the Government of Vietnam. It also builds on a number of more in-depth studies that were commissioned specifically for the Vietnam urbanization review.

Click here to download the report:World Bank: Vietnam Urbanization Review, 283 pages, pdf