A city in a central Vietnamese province has become a magnet for tourists and scientists on account of its green urban planning.
In recent years Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, has emerged as a picturesque coastal city with rich tourism, economic and scientific research potential.
Despite its limited area, the city abounds in lush greenery.
At its very heart lies a six-hectare green urban space zone which is situated on Nguyen Tat Thanh and An Duong Vuong Streets and stretches to the beaches in Quy Nhon Bay.
The green space was created with help from the local government.
Ho Quoc Dung, chair of the provincial People’s Committee, said the urban green space is the fruit of the concerted resolve made by generations of provincial and municipal leaders for more than 20 years.
“Our predecessors were well aware that allowing short-term investment or rampant construction of high-rises would add money to the provincial budget, but at the permanent cost of the city losing its identity and tourist appeal,” he noted.
“It was a bold decision to turn the over-6-hectare plot at the primest location in the city’s heart into a lushly-vegetated square, considering its relatively dense population of between 15,000 and 18,000 heads per square kilometer,” Dung stressed.
According to Vu Hoang Ha, former secretary of the provincial Party Committee, the Binh Dinh leaders during the late 1980s observed that despite Quy Nhon’s limited area of around 284 square kilometers, including the inner-city area of 1,000 hectares (1 hectare ~ 10,000 square meters), the city is endowed with a vast area of mountains, lagoons and lakes.
“The leaders, including those who took office right after 1975, when the country was reunified, and those studying abroad and majoring in urban planning, made it a point to tap into the city’s favorable natural elements and turn it into the current alluring, eco-friendly locale,” he divulged.
The next generations of provincial leaders followed suit and further cemented the green-cherishing resolve.
Where scientists meet
Quy Nhon has become a “rendezvous” for local and foreign scientists because of the “green” vision of its leaders.
After conducting surveys in different places throughout Vietnam, Professor Tran Thanh Van, a revered Vietnamese-French physicist who is president of the France-based Rencontres du Vietnam (Meet Vietnam) Association, finally decided on Quy Nhon for the construction of the International Center for Inter-Disciplinary Science and Education (ICISE), which was put into use in August 2013.
Covering an area of 20 hectares, the center consists of a large auditorium, conference rooms, and a planetarium, and has become an international venue where scientists can meet and exchange ideas.
The professor organized the “Meeting Vietnam 2013” physics symposium, which was attended by five Nobel laureates and several other foreign scientists, in the same month. The city has been put on the global scientific map since.
“I traveled to many cities in Vietnam and some European countries, but my wife and I finally went for Quy Nhon as the ICISE venue, for we both highly regard the provincial and municipal leaders’ visionary urban planning,” Prof. Van said.
“It took them a few decades to build the city with verdant greenery and heavenly beaches as it is now,” he added.
The city is taking steps to realize its dream of becoming an engaging scientific and cultural tourism destination.