In Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, the rapid growth of private vehicles and poor infrastructure have further complicated traffic in the city.
A report from the Hanoi Transport Department on traffic congestion in 2022 reveals that the number of traffic jam hot spots in the city has increased from 35 to 45.
The city’s rapid population growth, poor urban and traffic planning, and land use also contributed to its congestion problems, while the increasing number of private vehicles and increase in housing density made traffic worse and much more complicated.
Streamlining and reducing the size of the residential areas and connecting high-density residential areas with transport are solutions identified by urban planning experts.
A land-use planning that allows people to access public transport could also ease the city’s congestion, says Associate Professor Dr Vu Hoai Nam, a Bridge and Road Construction lecturer at Construction University.
“The long-term solution is to re-plan residential areas, even long-standing ones, in the direction of compactness, utility, mixed land use, and connection of high-density residential chains by public transport,” says Nam (Good Urban, 2023).
Nam adds that ring and two-story roads are also necessary to reduce traffic jams and reserve separate lanes for mass transit vehicles.
VN Express reports that Hanoi is investing in transportation infrastructure to alleviate congestion. The article says the city is focusing resources on transport infrastructure and rolling out many infrastructure projects.
In the last 15 years, the city has added a new 30 km road – the Thang Long Boulevard- and a 15 km metro line. The city has also upgraded an expressway and constructed several roads, bridges, tunnels, and intersections.
By 2030, the city will strive to complete transportation infrastructure projects such as highways, radial roads, provincial roads, belt roads, and others to improve links to the city and provinces and boost connectivity between its center and satellite urban areas.
The city has also invested in expanding its public transport networks, adding additional routes and vehicles to cater to its residents of around 5.2 million, most of whom have access to subsidized buses.
Transportation is crucial for economic and social development in developing countries like Vietnam. Improving transportation infrastructure also includes making them cleaner, safer, and more resilient to increasing extreme weather events due to climate change.
The article on The City Fix provides some solutions on how growing cities in developing countries can address infrastructure challenges.
- Addressing the negative consequences of unsustainable transportation on climate, air, and pollution and finding ways to lower vehicle emissions.
- Enhancing public transportation and providing other mobility options like cycling and walking can reduce emissions while promoting better mobility.
- Making transportation infrastructure climate-resilient to save costs from constant repairs and maintenance from extreme weather events that are getting more frequent and severe. Creating redundancies in logistic networks and applying asset management increase transportation infrastructure resilience.
- Using advances in technology, connectivity, and data to help integrate and improve transport systems and enable seamless connectivity between various modes of transportation for all users.
- Government budget constraints regarding improving transportation can be met by other funding options or methods, such as involving private investors and partnering with development banks like the World Bank. These institutions can offer innovative financial structures to help projects get off the ground.
Developing countries face significant transportation challenges due to rapid population growth and the need to expand and improve their transportation infrastructure and networks. But these challenges also present opportunities to do things better.
Hanoi invests more in transport infrastructure. (2023, August 20). VN Express. Retrieved from https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/traffic/hanoi-invests-more-in-transport-infrastructure-4644202.html
Good urban planning to help reduce traffic jams in Hanoi. (2023, February 20). Vietnamplus. Retrieved from https://en.vietnamplus.vn/good-urban-planning-to-help-reduce-traffic-jams-in-hanoi/248606.vnp
Thiberge, N., & van den Berg, R. (2023, March 9). 5 Key Transport Challenges Facing Developing Countries and What to Do About Them.
The City Fix. Retrieved from https://thecityfix.com/blog/5-key-transport-challenges-facing-developing-countries-and-what-to-do-about-them/