National Policies -- Vietnam Urban Forum and NUUP

Project: Strengthening of the Vietnam Urban Forum (VUF) and Operationalising the National Urban Upgrading Programme (NUUP)
Partners: UN-Habitat, the World Bank, Ministry of Construction
The Situation: Vietnam is engaged in a remarkable process of economic reform and spatial transition. Compared to other Asian countries, Vietnam's degree of urbanisation still is relatively low, but its urban population is forecast to double to 52 million by 2025. In 2000 and 2001 the Vietnam Urban Forum (VUF) was conceptualised as a medium for policy dialogue and structured exchange on urban development issues. VUF became operational in 2003, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by key stakeholders in Vietnam's urban development process. The Vietnam Urban Forum as a platform for discussion on urban issues informs stakeholders by regularly reviewing and reporting on the state of ongoing urban development programmes and contribute to a deeper understanding of urban upgrading issues and rationales in Vietnam.
Results: In 2008, a National Urban Upgrading Strategy and Overall Investment Plan for Urban Upgrading to the year 2020 (NUUP) was prepared and approved. Support provided by the Cities Alliance, such as a strategy to enhance access of the urban poor to basic infrastructure and housing - was used by the Ministry of Construction (MOC) to prepare guidelines for NUUP. It focused on upgrading basic infrastructure and services in low-income areas in 96 cities across Vietnam and was approved by the Government in 2009. These activities provided, for the first time, an overall demand assessment and cost estimate for urban upgrading in low-income areas in more than 100 cities and towns throughout Vietnam. It is expected to lead to an upgrading approach that is based on partnerships with local governments and urban communities – a significant urban development shift in centralised Vietnam.

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