Vietnam became the fifth country in the IURC Asia & Australasia programme to host a kick-off meeting to launch cooperation between the cities of Da Lat and Ha Tinh in Vietnam with the Stuttgart Region Association in Germany and the Colleferro-Latina Functional Area in Italy. The meeting was moderated by Mrs. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, IURC Country Coordinator for Vietnam, and was opened by H.E. Giorgio Aliberti, the EU Ambassador to Vietnam.
The Ambassador noted that climate change is an urgent global issue that requires international cooperation and that, while decisions on the matter are global, local authorities play a critical role in engaging citizens, urban practitioners and decision-makers to unite and help create a better, safer and healthier environment. Meanwhile, Mr. Pablo Gándara, Team Leader of IURC Asia & Australasia, noted the global nature of the IURC programme during his presentation, stressing that the four EU and Vietnamese cities would have opportunities to develop synergies with other cities cooperating in the Asian & Australasian geographical area.
Mr. Ton Thien San, Chairman of the Da Lat City People Committee, represented Da Lat during the city presentation session and presented a video introduction to the city. Da Lat is known for high-tech production of agricultural produce, including coffee and tea, and serves as a national research hub in this field. In addition, it has also planned to become a low-carbon smart city while promoting tourism and preserving its cultural heritage.
Presenting Ha Tinh City at the meeting was Mr. Nguyen Trong Hieu, Chairman of the Ha Tinh City People Committee, who highlighted a few projects taking place in the city. These include social housing projects and the plan to green the city and promote circular economy. Ha Tinh is one of the three pilot cities implementing the Vietnamese government’s green economy development programme.
Mr. Thomas Kiwitt, Director of Planning, Stuttgart Region Association, highlighted the Stuttgart Region’s economic power as a hub for car-making and other small and large companies as well as its focus on landscape and open space. The region is also known for vineyards and orchards and its vision is to be a Green, Just and Productive City, focusing on issues such as climate change, mobility for all and affordable housing, and research and development.
Last but not least, Mr. Francesco Guadagno, City Councilor for EU and International Projects, Colleferro City Council, and Dr. Gianluca Fabbri, Coordinator of the Smart City Labs of Rome and Lazio, represented the Colleferro-Latina Functional Area. Located in the southern area of the Region of Lazio, both Colleferro and Latina experienced industrial growth in the 90s and are interested in urban regeneration to transform former industrial areas. With the Smart City Labs of Rome and Lazio playing a key role in this cooperation, the functional area also hopes to test the model of open innovation lab in Vietnamese cities.
Apart from the four cities, several other stakeholders also joined the meeting, including Mr. Jens Bley, Cluster Manager for Smart City and Digitalisation, IURC Asia & Australasia; Mr. Michel Mouchiroud, Deputy Head of the FPI Regional Team for Asia & Pacific; Dr. Ronald Hall, Senior Advisor for the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy; Dr. Rui Ludovino, First Counsellor, Climate Action, Environment, Employment and Social Policies, EU Delegation to Vietnam; and Mr. Ngo Trung Hai, General Secretary of the Association of cities of Vietnam (ACVN).
Da Lat City Video Introduction