The Urban Development and Environmental Problems in HaLong Bay
HaLong city is the prime urban area of QuangNinh province, which is part of the strategic economic development triangle: Hanoi-Haiphong-QuangNinh, an important exit and entry point for trade in Northern Vietnam. Though newly upgraded to the urban area of Grade III in 1994, the city is in a rapid stage of socio-economic development. At the same time it exposes acute conflicts between economic sectors. There is a severe lack of philosophy for integrated infrastructure planning, or more specifically, a lack of environmental considerations in the regional socio-economic development plan.
HaLong Bay, a World Heritage Site, is a major attraction for tourism for its fantastic natural beauty. Being an environmentally prone area and situated by the side of HaLong city, HaLong Bay suffers severe environmental problems for the aforementioned reasons. There is a growing concern for environmental impact assessment and protection within an effective framework of sustainable development.
This paper addresses issues involving critical environmental problems in Halong Bay as consequences of the socio-economic development of HaLong city. The paper is organised into three parts. Part one makes a brief introduction about social, economic, and natural conditions of the area. Through the land-use suitability analysis in view of integrated infrastructure planning, part two figures out environmental issues as results of the non-integrated urban development, particularly from coal mining and tourism. Finally, in part three, mitigation measures for environmentally sustainable development for HaLong Bay are recommended
Keywords: Urban Development, Sustainable Development, Environmental Problems, Environmental Impact Assessment, Integrated Infrastructure Planning
Dr Soi Hoi Lam
A/Prof., School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Mr Toan Trinh Dinh
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University