Jun. 16, 2023

Start of the Community Hub Verification Phase 2 in Preparation for Sustainable City Development in North Hanoi in Vietnam

Sumitomo Corporation is developing a sustainable city on a 272-hectare site in the district of Đông Anh, in the northern part of Hanoi city, Vietnam. The development is scheduled to take place over five stages, with the city opening by 2025. In the first and second phases of development, the project assumes approximately 30,000 residents with the construction of high-rise condominiums and houses, while inviting schools and clinics. In later stages of the development, offices, commercial facilities and transport hubs etc will be added in a phased manner.

Through this sustainable city, Sumitomo Corporation is aiming to build a community in which mutual aid and co-creation among community residents will be attained. To this end, through dialogue with residents, we collect and verify ideas and knowledge on how sustainable urban development can provide comfortable living to develop new services.

To reach these goals, Sumitomo Corporation carried out the verification phase 1 (*) of the service infrastructure development to foster a community of local residents (hereinafter referred to as the “community hub”), with the verification taking place on the first floor of a condominium in Hanoi owned by BRG Group Joint Stock Company, our joint development partner. As a result, we were able to recognize the potential for mutual assistance and co-creation (incorporate underlying lifestyle needs) through real contact with residents in town management, in addition to helping to form a community among residents.

Based on the results gathered and issues identified in this verification phase 1, and in order to further investigate new frameworks for involving local residents in town management, the community hub verification phase 2 begin from June to November 2023. We aim to improve the attractiveness of the city with residents to create local community facilities focused on "education" and "healthcare," which were particularly in demand based on feedback from residents in the verification phase 1 and local questionnaire surveys. The knowledge obtained through these verification projects will be put to use in the development of the sustainable city in North Hanoi, with the aim of creating “a sustainable urban development that leads to the continual prosperous growth of individual residents and the community itself”.

  1. A summary of the verification phase 1 is provided below.
    Conducting a Proof-of-Concept in Hanoi, Vietnam to Offer Community Service for Mutual Aid and Co-creation to Families with Children

Background to the Verification Project

Vietnam is aiming to become a developed nation by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the country’s founding, and is currently investing heavily in tackling climate change, fostering talented human resources, introducing digital technology, and developing various infrastructure including transportation, energy and urban development projects.

On the other hand, as social infrastructure in Vietnam is insufficient in comparison to developed nations, the people there have a strong awareness of the needs to improve lifestyles, and there is a deep-rooted demand in the community for safe, clean and comfortable environments. To respond to this demand, it is important to work together with local communities to recognize and incorporate underlying lifestyle needs, and create frameworks in which local residents are involved in the heart of urban development projects.

Summary of verification project

Following the phase 1 of the verification project conducted last year to encourage mutual aid and co-creation among community residents, we will leverage our connections with the residential community to begin new verifications, focusing particularly on areas where an elevated level of need was identified during the verification phase 1, namely “education” and “healthcare”. To achieve sustainable urban development, we will respond to residential community-centered local issues and needs, aiming to stand in residents’ shoes to improve their wellbeing (*2), and create a sustainable model in Vietnam. Specifically, we aim to create regional community facilities that are not offered elsewhere, working together with local residents to develop initiatives and projects that enhance the appeal of the city.

  1. Wellbeing here refers to the happiness and the livability, healthy lifestyles of residents.

(1) Design space: providing spaces that help produce communities with safety and security

We are aware that natural community spaces allow people of all different ages to come together, and we have revamped the design of the community space used in phase 1, supervised by the design engineering studio Tangent Design and Invention Ltd and Tangent Japan Ltd who have created their remarkable works internationally (*3). We will provide community space which serves as a community hub where residents’ activities are spontaneously initiated and their senses are naturally refined. DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD., a global air conditioning company, and Sumitomo Shoji Machinex Corporation, a Sumitomo Corporation Group company, are working together to improve indoor air condition in Hanoi, a city with serious air pollution problems. By installing DAIKIN air conditioners and making air quality visible through a dashboard display, we will aim to change the way residents perceive air quality.

  1. Refer to Tangent website

(2) Educational provision: delivering education modeled on developed countries

To create most advanced educational district in Hanoi City, helping people to foster their inventiveness and intellect required to play on a global stage, we will provide after-school programs such as STEAM(*4) and high-quality Japanese-style education. We aim to create a community in which they can learn through the relationship with the local residents, including through social learning that cannot be acquired through stereotypical and traditional programs under the public education system of Vietnam. In addition, we offer hands-on art room classes where children can enjoy free and dynamic art play supervised by Crep, an art playground for children in Japan (*5). By valuing individual expression, the program nurtures children's innate sensitivity and imagination, and fosters the creativity necessary for them to think and realize things on their own.

  1. An educational philosophy that combines science and mathematics education with creativity education, covering the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Liberal Arts, and Mathematics.
  2. Refer to Crep website

(3) Healthcare provision: providing diet and exercise programs

To be the most health-promoting area in Hanoi City, the sustainable city provides programs that are tailored to individual residents based on their healthcare data to improve diet and health habits and encourage behavioral change. While awareness of health issues in Vietnam is not low, many people have not yet managed to take concrete action to promote their health. By encouraging a greater awareness among residents of preventative healthcare and driving behavioral change, we will raise overall levels of health awareness among its residents, providing healthy, untroubled lifestyles.

Contributing to the development of Vietnam through sustainable city developments

Under Sumitomo Corporation’s medium-term management plan SHIFT 2023, social infrastructure is identified as a growth area, and the company has focused on infrastructure development projects and urban development projects including the sustainable city development in North Hanoi. While responding to Vietnam’s demand for urban development, we will show the world a role model in which private companies build a town from scratch in collaboration between Japanese and Vietnamese industries, governments and academies to contribute to the economic and industrial development of Vietnam. In addition, we are aiming in future to deliver the new services and frameworks originating in this North Hanoi project to other locations in Vietnam, and eventually to other nations in ASEAN and throughout the world, applying the experience obtained and business models developed in North Hanoi to resolving various social issues.