Urban Development in Saigon

Today at UEF, we were provided a lecture by an academic professor that described the history of Vietnam, as well as the implications that came with the transition of power after the fall of Saigon in 1975.  Two things that stood out, involving economic stability in Vietnam, were the low wages that the majority of people in Vietnam cities survive on, as well as the social fund, which led to a rise in the retirement age and an increase in money taken out of regular paychecks.

Phu My Hung was an incredible corporation to visit because it symbolizes the advantages of loosening Marxist economic theory.  The PR representative who spoke to us described how the projects only began after the Communist government opened up the Vietnamese economy to foreign investment in 1986.  My impression of this vast, rapidly built sub city of Ho Chi Minh was that it resembles a utopia, in that it houses all business, leisurely activities, and housing in the same location.  It was concerning to hear that the cheapest apartments in Phu My Hung are priced around $100,000, since it is clear that the majority of Ho Chi Minh’s residents could never afford this.

Our tour guide described a similar method to acquiring a house in Phu My Hung; buyers are asked to put down a down payment and then pay off a morgatge that lasts anywhere from 5 to 20 years.

Phu My Hung attempts to build their complexes in the most environmetnal friendly manner, although their projects must take away from the natural habitats that previously thrived in southern Saigon.  When this topic was addressed by our tourguide, it seemed that it was only addressed in a partial way, meaning we did not get the full picture of the environmental impact.

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