Hồ Chí Minh City is the major population centre in Vietnam and also the economic beacon for the country. The city, commonly known as Sài Gòn, has prided itself on its dynamism, global outlook, and progress-minded strategy. However, like other metropoles in Southeast Asia, Sài Gòn faces many challenges of utmost importance, not the least the raging Covid-19 pandemic. In response, the government is trying to assert control over the urban agglomeration while attempting to balance problem-solving with growth-promoting. Yet, a glance at the city’s history would show that these challenges, though new in forms, were always there. The presentation aims to examine the prevailing challenges facing the city and their roots, not just in historical development, but also in distinctive characteristics of Sài Gòn. It will show how the city has always been in constant but also static, positing that to face recurrent challenges, new paradigms are required.
About the Speaker
Rafael Martinez is a Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities. His research focuses on mainland and insular megacities in Southeast Asia and involves recycling of sacred places and the production of ephemeral and provisional space. At the LKYCIC, Rafael works on the Future of Asian Cities, a project focusing a variety of urban issues in different Southeast Asian cities, including Ho Chi Minh City and the Chen Tianqiao programme on urban innovation.
Phan Hoang Long is a Political Science and Public Policy graduate from Singapore Management University. He is a Research Assistant at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Citizen Urban Science: Policy and Practice project . Coming from Ho Chi Minh City, his work at the LKYCIC has allowed him to take a much more critical look at the city, its history and future.
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