After the Doi Moi (‘renovation’) reforms in Vietnam from 1986, land ownership rules were adjusted, effectively terminating former land collectivisation efforts. While land ownership remained fully under the control of the state, a 1993 land law conferred 20-year leaseholds to most farmers. They could now utilize farm land individually, and sell, swap and mortgage the land in a situation similar to private ownership. These leaseholds are now expiring and a new 2013 land law is in the making. This paper was initially written for UNDP Vietnam which supports Vietnam to help formulate a strong new land law, and brings out the complexities of land governance in the suburban areas of fast expanding Vietnamese cities. It first considers the present and changing land use of suburban areas and the key stakeholders involved here – powerful State Owned Enterprises, farmers, bureaucrats and communist party leaders. Planning practices are then assessed – and seen to be both rigid and complex, with different departments at various levels working at cross purposes under conditions of conflicting rules, laws and weak capacities. This is one reason for the dominance of informal arrangements and widespread corruption, where powerful actors benefit hugely and illegally from conditions of opacity and informal networks. Overall outcomes are that cities expand in a haphazard (‘leapfrog’) and inefficient manner, with insufficient attention for timely and adequate infrastructure, the environment and for people’s welfare as in social amenities and parks. As a result of lopsided incentive systems, it is the state which foregoes huge incomes and faces more costly investments, while many suburban farmers are affected through (arbitrary) land acquisition and inadequate compensation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Vietnam, environment, land governance, planning, suburban land, urban housing
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/40476
Series ISS Working Papers - General Series
Journal ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
Citation
de Wit, J.W. (2013). Land governance of suburban areas of Vietnam (No. 561). ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 561, pp. 1–34). Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/40476