From a deserted, unpopulous land, after more than 105 years of construction and development (1913 - 2019), Kon Tum province has made dramatic and positive changes in its urban appearance.
With the efforts and determination of the entire political system and the consensus of the people of all ethnic groups, the province has so far developed eight urban centers (one third-grade urban area: Kon Tum City; one fourth-grade urban area: Plei Kan Town; and six fifth-grade urban areas: Dak Ha, Dak To, Sa Thay, Dak Glei, Dak Rve and Mang Den) while building three new urban areas: Tu Mo Rong, Dak Tan and Ia H'Drai). The urbanization rate has been significantly improved year by year, from 33.4% in 2007 to 34.5% in 2012. The face of its urban areas has been spectacularly lifted.
Social, health and education infrastructure has been upgraded. The urban technical infrastructure like traffic, electricity, water supply and communication has been gradually improved synchronously. Many new urban areas have been established. The construction sector has made a great progress in workforce development, with higher working skills of construction workers and better business performances of construction companies. Better State administration has importantly contributed to local socioeconomic development. For example, Kon Tum City, the capital of Kon Tum province, was recognized as a third-grade urban area in 2005 and Plei Kan Town, the capital of Ngoc Hoi district, was recognized as a fourth-grade urban area in 2014.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Hai, Director of the Kon Tum Department of Construction, said that, starting from a poor mountainous province where socioeconomic conditions were poor and infrastructure was undeveloped, Kon Tum province robustly embarked on urban development planning to give a facelift to its urban areas in the process of industrialization and modernization. To date, the province has formed a synchronous transport network across the province with many arterial roads playing an important role in local socioeconomic development such as Ho Chi Minh Road, National Highway 24, National Highway 40 and provincial roads. The rational interconnection of national highways, provincial roads and district roads ensures smooth mobility of people and commodities, as well as smooth connection with the national transport grid. The urban transport network has been invested and developed to facilitate urban area expansion and residential area formation. Besides, the technical infrastructure system (power, water, traffic and green space) has been synchronized and modernized to meet people’s needs and improve urban quality.
He said, Kon Tum has focused on adjusting and expanding urban development plans since 2003 to improve urban quality, raise urbanization rate and increase living standards of citizens. The province has formed new urban areas as nuclei and motivations for rural development. By 2025, the province targets to raise its urbanization rate to 53.3%, upgrade Kon Tum City to a second-grade urban area and Plei Kan Town to a provincially governed city, establish some towns under new urban criteria. It will upgrade the network of functional zones which serve as driving forces for regional development such as Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone and Mang Den Ecotourism Area.
To make strong breakthroughs in technical infrastructure development, upgrade and develop technical infrastructure in urban, industrial and economic zones, on January 9, 2019, the Standing Committee of the Kon Tum Provincial Party Committee issued Directive 20-CT/TU on launching groundbreaking fields in 2019 and, on January 10, 2019, the Provincial People's Committee also promulgated Decision 31/QD-UBND on the action program for deployment of three groundbreaking socioeconomic development fields in 2019 (including the action program for infrastructure upgrading investment in urban, industrial and service areas). This is considered an important starting step for Kon Tum to timely and effectively develop climate-resilient green cities and smart cities in the province towards green growth and sustainable development.