During Day 2, we focused more on the academic aspect of the trip, attending an urban development lecture in the morning along with our Vietnamese language class and then a site visit in the afternoon. During the urban development lecture in the morning, we learned about how Vietnam focused on improving its infrastructure after its reunification in 1975. The infrastructure improvements were especially important for Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) after the city was essentially destroyed during the war. There were many slums around the city following the war, and the government felt that it was important to clean up the city and allow it to prosper in to the national economic hub that it now is.
Another post-war problem that the city faced was the overpopulation caused by rapid population growth in the city. During our visit to Phu My Hung today, they talked about how they have been working to fix this problem with something they called the Master Plan. Phu My Hung works on building a very safe and effective community in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City. Their government-approved Master Plan involves building this community just outside the main part of the city to allow for the population to spread out more and aid the overpopulation problem. During the site visits, they talked about how the goal of the Master Plan is to house 100,000 people. Currently they are about one-third of the way to that goal housing over 32,000 people. The Phu My Hung district is a very affluent and upper-class area in the city, and so almost 40% of the people housed in this area are foreigners with the majority of the foreigners due to the high cost of living.