|The journey to make Hanoi smarter has reached a new phase with the arrival of the BRG-Sumitomo joint venture
Through a 50/50 joint venture, a whopping 270 hectares of land located some 20 minutes from the city will begin development early next year and is expected to be complete by 2028.
The smart city will be state of the art in that it will employ Industry 4.0 technology such as the Internet of Things to ensure energy is conserved. It will also feature surveillance cameras that come with the capabilities to recognise faces together with AI.
Reality a long-term vision
Marking the first milestone of the North Hanoi Smart City Project just before the 65th anniversary of Hanoi’s Liberation on October 10, Nguyen Thi Nga, chairwoman of BRG Group said, “We build a smart city not for our generation, but for many Vietnamese generations of the future. Here, the capacity of Vietnamese people will be truly activated and maximised, thereby creating momentum to promote the country’s socio-economic development.”
Ten years ago, the businesswoman proposed to invest in a project on the two sides of the Nhat Tan-Noi Bai route. In May 2009, BRG Group was assigned the task. Since then, Nga and her partners have embarked on a journey of numerous challenges to realise the dream of a Hanoi for future Vietnamese generations.
“I still remember when the international planning contractor required a topographic survey for the entire 2,080 hectares, and to know the location of houses, temples, roads, or schools. Engaging in finance, I can see clearly the cost, not to mention challenges of time and its feasibility. But we still had to do it anyway,” she said.
She could also never forget the sheer number of meetings with government and Hanoian authorities, besides overnight discussions with international consultants. “Sometimes the ideas of foreign architectural planners and management agencies were not unified, and work needed considering so many times. I felt tired and very lonely with almost no-one understanding or accompanying me, while I also needed to take care of the group’s other issues,” Nga said.
However, with a great love for Hanoi and the desire to give people a new quality environment, Nga and BRG Group have now reached the next stage. In December 2015, under the authorization of the Prime Minister, Hanoi officially approved the planning map.
After completing the detailed plan, BRG Group has continuously sought partners. It required devoted partners and sharing of a mutual vision for sustainable development. The goal was to create a city of new vitality, bringing modern and classy living standards, and creating motivation for socio-economic development for the country.
Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan’s leading firms, ultimately officially shook hands with BRG Group to develop the smart city venture.
Hanoian heart and spirit
Masayuki Hyodo, president and CEO of Sumitomo, said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project that he “really admires the vision and passion” of the BRG Group leader.
“Her love for the country and for Hanoi is an inspiration,” Hyodo said.
“This project does not copy the model of any city, but is a beautiful scheme with the latest 4.0 technologies, bringing together a new quality of life for people,” Hyodo emphasised.
Located on the main route linking Hanoi city centre with Noi Bai International Airport, the smart city project is considered to be a bridge to speed up commercial trade co-operation between Vietnam and other countries in the region and around the world.
According to the plan for the BRG-Sumitomo joint venture, people will enjoy the maximum benefits from comprehensive development of modern and sustainable infrastructure, thereby accelerating the process of socio-economic development in the capital city.
The smart city venture will apply many advanced technologies across areas such as smart energy, smart mobility, smart governance, smart learning, smart economy and smart living.
A smart building management system and renewable energy technology will also be prioritised to optimise energy supply and storage.
In parallel with the smart city design, it is expected that the joint venture will also build a detailed plan on the application of 5G technology, face recognition, and blockchain.
Developing smart cities will not only support Hanoi to solve existing problems in, for instance, transport infrastructure, healthcare, education, energy, and inadequacies in urban management and planning; but it will also activate new growth engines for the country, soon realising the resolutions on Industry 4.0 that the Politburo has just promulgated, which focuses on the target of at least three smart cities in three key economic regions across the country by 2025.