Globalizing Inequality: Housing, Air, and Water Quality in Industrial Zones in Hanoi, Vietnam

Globalizing Inequality: Housing, Air, and Water Quality in Industrial Zones in Hanoi, Vietnam

 Team members: Tho Tran, Researcher

Collaborators: National University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam and the Research Triangle Institute

This project is funded by the Department of City & Regional Planning.

Vietnam’s economic modernization away from an agrarian society will place the majority of its population in urban areas by 2040.  Today, a significant portion the urban growth is occurring in industrial zones dominated by manufacturing, garment, and textile. There are currently 295 industrial zones located in urban and peri-urban areas throughout the country. The expansion of these industrial zones occurred so quickly that many lack adequate infrastructure, housing, provisions for safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.  For example, the formal housing sector has not kept pace with the demand for housing, thus 90% of workers in industrial zones live in housing built by the informal sector. Furthermore, 80% of industrial zones in Vietnam have been found to violate environmental regulations, especially relating to wastewater treatment and pollutant emissions. Thus, there is significant potential for exposure to environmental risks and contaminants among workers in industrial zones. This study measures housing, air, and water quality in five industrial zones in Hanoi, Vietnam.