Southeast Asia’s urban population is growing rapidly, with 55 percent of its people expected to live in cities by 2030. In Da Nang, central Vietnam, the population is expected to reach 1.65 million by 2020 – nearly double its 2010 population.
Such growth makes it challenging to balance increasing demand for energy and services with the need for sustainability. But Da Nang, now the fifth largest city in Vietnam, is on a path to show how it can manage rapid expansion without drastically increasing its levels of energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.
Da Nang’s city government has made a strong commitment to low carbon urban development, adopting a city environmental plan in August 2008. The World Bank is helping the government translate that plan into action through the Sustainable Urban Energy and Emissions Planning (SUEEP) process, which provides a framework to help cities mobilize financing and carry out a series of investments in energy efficiency and green infrastructure.
Da Nang was one of three pilot cities for SUEEP in the East Asia/Pacific region, along with Cebu City, Philippines and Surabaya, Indonesia. The preliminary findings from audits of these cities informed the design of the SUEEP guidebook, which provides a comprehensive framework and step-by-step guidance to help a city develop its own energy and emissions plan.
With funding from the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE), Da Nang is currently applying the SUEEP report findings.
“SUEEP’s tools helped us analyze the city’s energy and emissions profile, determine targets for reduction, and identify investment opportunities for energy efficiency projects,” says Mr. Nguyễn Đình Phúc, Deputy Director of Da Nang’s Department of Industry and Trade and Chairman of the city’s Energy and Emissions Task Force. “The Green Business Plan, for instance, identified a long list of project initiatives, which was then reduced to a shortlist following a screening assessment based on the city’s capacity, priorities, and relative benefits. We are now looking at five projects that have strong energy and emissions reduction potential as well as being attractive to private investment.”