The UN Development Program (UNDP) has supported Vietnam’s central coastal city of Danang to accelerate the implementation of the smart city in which City Lab initiative is one of the main activities.
|UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen and Chairman of Danang People's Committee Huynh Duc Tho at the signing ceremony earlier this month. Photo: Danang.gov.vn|
Conducting the project in Danang is also part of UNDP’s efforts to advance smart city projects across Vietnam in the context that the country is on way to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
On November 26, UNDP and Danang held a seminar to introduce the City Lab initiative which is included in a memorandum of understanding signed between UNDP and Danang earlier this month.
UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said at the signing ceremony that “UNDP will mobilize its network and resources to support Danang achieve its ambitions of becoming a smart, green city by 2045, drawing on UNDP‘s Accelerator Labs - a network of 60 labs in 78 countries designed to re-imagine development for the 21st century.”
“City Lab is a very interesting initiative which Danang would like to learn from to help transform Danang into a leading smart, resilient and green city,” Chairman of Danang People’s Committee Huynh Duc Tho said. “Danang looks forward to learning from the global UNDP Accelerator Labs network,” he added.
To support Danang to operationalize the City Lab, UNDP organized the mission of Gabriella Gomez-Mont, former founder and director of the Mexico City Lab, to provide experiences and reflections on key issues during her working sessions with Danang’s authorities on November 22-26.
“The more ideas, resources and information flow openly across different sectors, the more innovative the city will be,” Gabriella Gomez-Mont said. “In the meetings with Danang, there is a huge potential for City Lab to help solve urban challenges and make the city a reference of what is possible in the Asian context.”
UNDP’s smart city-relating support is in line with the city’s development strategies. Vice Chairman of Danang People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh said at the seminar on November 26 that “Traffic planning; Environment and waste management; Smart city; Sustainable tourism development; Innovation; and e-Government are the matters of interest to Danang in its urban development process.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Wiesen emphasized “A key question to address across all the planned innovations is how to support the city to be more agile, adaptive and anticipatory. This includes identifying how best to embed innovation methods and practices in the city to sustainably tackle social and public issues.”
In a broader support, recently UNDP supported Danang in the design and implementation of the Chatbot initiative to provide real-time public service information to the citizens. The Chatbot has been applied in different sectors including land, transport, tourism, feedback on flooding and hope to expand to other areas.
Le Son Phong, Deputy Director of Da Nang’s Department of Information and Communication said: “The UNDP-supported Chatbot is very effective, helping to reduce the number of staff while increasing the reliability of the information for citizens.” “Danang is keen to move on with this initiative to the next level,” he noted.