Producing and Living the City in Vietnam

Abstract : In a world where more than 50% of the population lives in cities, Vietnam and its current 34% of urban dwellers remains associated with rurality in the global imaginary. But this last figure should be put into perspective: after decades of de-urbanisation under the socialist regime the national urban growth is now exploding; the country’s urban population has doubled since 1980, with an official average growth of 3.4% per year. Beyond this steady demographic development, urbanised areas multiplied by between 1995 and 2010.4 Most of the urban growth takes place in and around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), even though secondary cities are also engaged in a rebalancing process. Today these two main metropolises of the country have respectively 7 and 7.9 million inhabitants. In addition, since the introduction of đổi mới reforms in the mid-1980s, cities have been officially recognised as the engine of national economic growth by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), which leads the country. In this renewed context, our Focus offers a fresh perspective on the production of urban forms, the reconfiguration of local management, and the renegotiation of daily practices in Vietnamese cities. Our intention is not only to highlight the path-breaking transformations taking place in Vietnam today, but also to contribute to the ‘Asianisation’ of urban studies paradigms through grounded analysis and interpretation, and to discuss an alternative theoretical framework, based on extensive fieldwork in Vietnamese cities and neighbourhoods.
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Marie Gibert, Clément Musil, Emmanuelle Peyvel, Juliette Segard. Producing and Living the City in Vietnam. France. 73, International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), 2016, IIAS Newsletter. ⟨hal-01378756⟩

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