In Summary

  • Swinburne welcomed high-profile delegates from Ho Chi Minh City’s municipal government (the People’s Committee) to discuss the future of smart cities
  • The focus was on urban challenges, data design and sustainability, and attendees shared insights and experiences
  • The workshop is part of the Knowledge Exchange for a Smart City: Australia and Vietnam series, and follows an initial conference held in Vietnam’s capital Ho Chi Minh City earlier this year

Distinguished delegates from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee were welcomed by Swinburne for an exchange of knowledge on the future of smart cities.

The delegation from the municipal government in Vietnam, led by Vice-Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen, joined Victorian government officials and Swinburne experts, to discuss the social, economic and technological aspects of smart infrastructure and innovative design.

Swinburne Lecturer in Interior Architecture, Dr Quoc Phuong Dinh, coordinated the visit with the help of a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-ASEAN Council.  It is part of the Knowledge Exchange for a Smart City: Australia and Vietnam series, which kicked off with a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City in September.

International Collaboration

In partnership with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture, the Swinburne-led workshop promoted research consultation with a cross-cultural exchange of experience and knowledge.

There were expert presentations on data design, planning and sustainability in future smart cities, followed by a panel chaired by Swinburne’s Dean (Research and Development) in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Professor Lisa Given.

delegates from Vietnam and Swinburne experts share the panel discussion From left: Mr Vu Chi Kien, Professor Niki Frantzeskaki, Ms Vo Thi Trung Trinh, Ms Suzanne Knight and Professor Jeni Paay.

The discussion focused on urban challenges, smart infrastructure and public influence on data collection, as well as collaboration between Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and Swinburne researchers in the future.

Dean (International) in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Professor Sivanes Phillipson, says the panellists explored the diverse layers of urbanisation – from considering non-human entities such as animals and natural environments, to the effects of centralising technology on regional populations.

 “The development of smart cities must not completely abandon the old, cultural character of present architecture. We need to consider the foundations we have now and integrate them with advancing designs and technology. It is important to include the elements of the local culture and natural environment with existing fauna and flora.”

Attendees were also treated to a showcase of Swinburne’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the Factory of the Future, Smart Structures Lab and the GradX Design Futures Exhibition featuring the work of Swinburne design graduates. Then were then shown examples of innovation around the city of Melbourne.   

delegates from Vietnam take a tour of the Factory of the FutureThe Vietnamese delegates take a tour of Swinburne's facilities, such as the innovative Factory of the Future.

Future partnerships                                                                                                         

The influence of technology on urbanisation is a key research area at Swinburne and continues to promote international relations through the Smart Cities Research Institute.

Dr Phuong Dinh says the workshop was praised highly by the international delegates.

“Experiences and questions raised in the workshop, including better strategies to engage citizens in urban development, bring a mutual understanding of smart city projects currently undertaken in both cities,” he says.

“The day was an opportunity to connect again and reaffirm our partnership, which we hope will continue and extend to other government departments under Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee.”

Australian and Vietnamese flags on tableThe collaboration between Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne will continue to discuss the future of smart cities.

Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Duncan Bentley, says the workshops strengthen engagement between the two countries.

“Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne are collaborating to create innovative smart cities for rapid population growth and long-term sustainability,” he says.

“With 13 million people and 27 per cent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), Ho Chi Minh City is looking to Swinburne’s smart city expertise and Melbourne’s smart city innovation for ideas as it prepares its long-term city plans.”

About the Smart Cities Research Institute

The Smart Cities Research Institute seeks innovative approaches to address the challenges facing the world’s fast-growing cities, and exemplifies Swinburne’s mission to create social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation.

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