Wednesday , February 8 2023

Amsterdam willing to help Hanoi handle flooding and other urban issues


Mayor of Amsterdam tells Vietnam’s prime minister the Dutch city is willing to share its experience with Hanoi in tackling urban problems.

In a meeting Sunday with Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said he was impressed with what the city has achieved in dealing with urban problems. The Vietnamese prime minister met with the mayor during an official visit to the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Chinh suggested that as the relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands has “entered a new stage of development,” the Dutch capital should boost cooperation with Vietnamese localities, especially the two biggest cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to make that relationship more “effective and rational.”

The Vietnamese official proposed that Amsterdam provide help to Vietnam’s cities in treating wastewater and solid waste, urban planning, tourism development and the circular economy. The circular economy is a model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) is with Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam, December 11, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Thuy

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) is with Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam, December 11, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Thuy

Mayor Halsema said Amsterdam and Hanoi have had many cooperation projects in the past.

“We wish to continue expanding cooperation in areas that Amsterdam is good at, such as energy conversion, waste treatment, dealing with environmental pollution and urban flooding and developing the city in a smart and sustainable direction,” she said.

She said Amsterdam is also willing to share its experiences in responding to climate change and rising sea levels, which localities in the Mekong Delta are now facing.

Mayor Halsema expressed a wish to visit Vietnam and said leaders of Hanoi and HCMC are welcomed to come to Amsterdam for further discussions on cooperation projects.

In recent years, Hanoi’s inner area has been flooded by heavy rains.

Last summer, thunderstorms on May 29, June 13 and several other days submerged over 30 streets in Hanoi, with some areas under up to 80 cm of water, throwing traffic and people’s lives in complete chaos.

City authorities and experts in the field of construction and urban planning have pointed out a series of reasons for the worsening urban flooding in Hanoi, including: unprecedented rain volume, incompetent drainage systems, and rapid urbanization which has resulted in too much concrete surface, and insufficient remaining soil to absorb flood waters.

Prime Minister Chinh arrived in the Netherlands from Luxembourg on December 10 for an official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

He will also visit Belgium for a summit commemorating the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-EU relations in Brussels on December 14.

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