Integrating Rural Development with Urbanization

4:38:19 PM | 11/13/2023

The fusion of rural development planning with urbanization represents a comprehensive approach to rural development for the period 2021-2025, extending into 2030 as articulated in Resolution 19-NQ/TW, issued on June 16, 2022, by the 5th Conference of the 13th Party Central Committee on agriculture, farmers, and rural areas, with a vision reaching to 2045.

Rural areas need faster urbanization, building on new rural success and integrating with cities 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reports that various agencies, spanning from the central to local levels, have diligently employed pragmatic measures to bring about substantial transformations and critical achievements in rural construction, development planning and management. These concerted efforts have led to significant enhancements in the rural landscape. New rural construction planning, in particular, has facilitated investments in rural transportation infrastructure, essentially meeting the demands of travel and transportation. Concurrently, there has been a heightened focus on upgrading irrigation systems, aimed at elevating production value and fostering the restructuring of agriculture.

While it is noteworthy that over 90% of communes have successfully met the criteria for new rural development planning, the swift pace of urbanization has given rise to notable challenges in terms of production, labor, societal issues, and the development of urban-rural connectivity infrastructure, particularly concerning trade and service-related production. Experts highlight that the rapid urbanization phenomenon has exerted substantial impacts on peri-urban and rural regions, leading to social transformations and a swift influence on construction-related concerns. In many areas, spontaneous urbanization has resulted in landscape degradation and the erosion of traditional cultural identities.

During the discussion session of the 15th National Assembly, focusing on topics such as the National Target Program on New Rural Development in 2021-2025, sustainable poverty reduction for the same period, and the socioeconomic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas from 2021 to 2030, Mr. Le Van Goi, Deputy Director of the Dong Nai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, highlighted the proactive steps taken by Dong Nai province in 2021. During a period when there was no established legal framework for the new rural development program spanning 2021-2025, the province presented a series of policies aimed at promoting a continuous and systematic approach to new rural development.

In the foreseeable future, both central and local agencies must pay close attention to new rural construction within the context of urbanization. Dong Nai has initiated a project for new rural development in the process of urbanization in Trang Bom district. However, this process has encountered numerous challenges, primarily due to the absence of specific criteria for peri-urban communes. If the National Criteria for Advanced New Rural Communes for the 2021-2025 period were to be applied to peri-urban communes, certain elements may not align with the realities on the ground. Suburban communes typically experience significant population influxes and substantial mechanical population growth, placing significant stress on infrastructure, healthcare, education, culture, and the environment.

The establishment of criteria tailored to peri-urban communes will serve as a pivotal tool for guiding and executing peri-urban area planning. These criteria will enable peri-urban areas to accurately assess immediate and long-term opportunities and challenges, setting forth the essential requirements. Key priorities encompass environmental preservation, enhanced urban amenities (public spaces, technical infrastructure, greenery, and water supply), and the safeguarding of natural drainage areas.

Given the contemporary limitations and requisites of urbanization, the National Target Program on New Rural Development for the 2021-2025 period incorporates adjusted criteria for new rural development planning that align with the evolving context. These planning objectives prioritize the enhancement of construction quality, aligning seamlessly with new rural development plans. The primary objective is to ensure that the realization of planning objectives contributes to the sustainable socioeconomic development of the region, preserving its unique identity and bolstering its resilience to climate-related challenges. Concurrently, there is a pressing need to accelerate urbanization within rural areas, inheriting the achievements of new rural construction, while ensuring the seamless integration between rural areas and urban centers, promoting connectivity between rural areas and tourist service zones, and fostering synergy between delta and mountainous regions.

By Dan Ngoc, Vietnam Business Forum