Some of the strongest manifestations of Vietnam’s remarkable economic growth are found in traffic. While Vietnamese cities were once dominated by bicycles and pedestrians, the growth in motorized mobility over the past decades have been astounding. In the two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, two-wheelers still dominate the streets—now in the form of motorbikes—but car ownership has been growing rapidly the past decade. The extent to which these cities in short time have followed in the footsteps of other Asian mega-cities and changed into a highly pedestrian and cyclist unfriendly cities is quite remarkable. Yet in mobility terms it somehow works, much thanks to the continued dominance of motorbikes. And while these are exactly the places that need to see sustainable mobility transformations if the world is to have any hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, there is much to learn from the combination of vibrant street life and relatively efficient transport of millions of people that we find in these cities. Also, new changes are taking place, in the form of large public transport investments, the growth in electric two-wheelers, the resurgence of bicycling and the explosion in new forms of ‘sharing mobilities’, as well as local authorities’ policies towards making parts of these cities pedestrian friendly.
This webinar asks how we can make sense of urban mobility in Vietnam from a sustainability perspective. What can we learn from Vietnam’s past and ongoing mobility transformations and is there a possible future without gridlocked cities packed with cars?
Focusing mainly on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, we have invited leading international experts to help us answer these questions.