Aiming for zero waste
“More and more we realize that resources are limited, and producing waste destroys the quality of life,” Andreatta said. “Therefore, there’s been a movement worldwide to reducing waste to an absolute minimum, ideally zero.”
He went on to say, “The rapid development of the middle class and its lifestyle, which includes intensive air conditioning use, accounts for a considerable proportion of energy consumption growth.”
It may be the middle class that benefits most from a greener Vietnam, where the private sector steps in to create greater efficiencies, when the government is not involved.
Property developers are building enclosed communities where sustainability is part of the design, whether it’s motion-detecting lights, or insulation that keeps indoor temperatures manageable. One developer introduced pollution warnings. Another made a transportation app just for its residents.
But what about those who are not lucky enough to live in a gated community? Government officials say they are listening to proposals across all sectors. They say that as Vietnam faces a major threat from climate change, it needs to make greater efforts at green planning.
“Climate change will have a big impact on the region,” said Huynh Xuan Thu, deputy chief officer of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Some of the ideas, such as a country full of electric cars, may be a pipe dream or years down the road. But Vietnam is getting started on some of the proposals. In Ho Chi Minh City, officials are looking at traffic sensors and gathering data on congestion, which they hope to reduce through technology in the near future. (VOA)