Da Nang – opening its doors and its mind

The city in central Vietnam looks outside and inside of its boarders for new ideas for development and modernization.

Vietnam barely had any IT companies 15 years ago, but now there are close to 14,000 IT businesses spanning hardware, software, and digital content. One of the reasons for this is the development of IT Parks, such as the Da Nang IT Park located in this central Vietnam’s city. This park, established in 2010, attracted some of the global leaders in the IT industry, such as Samsung and IBM, who are finding promise in the city’s increasingly modern environment.

IBM, in 2012, selected Da Nang as one of 33 cities worldwide to receive IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge grant, a $50 million, three-year program to revamp the city's infrastructure around economic development, sustainability, transportation, and urban planning using big data processing and predictive analytics.

Apart from looking for development help from multinational companies, the city authorities also found a new source of idea-generation for modernization – its own citizens.  

Recently, the local officials enabled the citizens to submit ideas related to traffic safety, public security and city landscape through email or the city’s official Facebook page. Once the ideas are received, they would be forwarded to the relevant agencies for review. If approved, the project would be implemented, while the idea inventor would receive compensation.

Thus far, Da Nang is already working on a several citizen-led projects, such as a scheme to popularize the art of shuttlecock ballet (a type of dance with a badminton-looking “ball”), as well as e-ticketing system for local sporting events or a double-decker bus tour of the city.

These processes, coupled with various infrastructure projects in recent years, will enable Da Nang to become a modern city and to further strengthen its position as one of the major growth engines of the Vietnamese economy.

Original article

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