Ho Chi Minh City Today

Phụ Mỹ Hưng, also known as the Saigon South New Urban Zone, is located approximately 6 kilometers southwest of the historic center of Ho Chi Minh City. It is a master-planned mixed-use residential and commercial development filled with shopping and recreational centers, global business & conference facilities, và middle- to lớn high-over residential housing. Developers designed Phú Mỹ Hưng with utopian visions of a modern và orderly thành phố. The general ethos of the development is captured by Phú Mỹ Hưng’s official slogan: “Đô thị văn minc, cộng đồng nhân văn uống,” which the Prúc Mỹ Hưng Corporation has translated inlớn English as “Civilization City, Human Oriented Community.”

In our research, we asked some very simple questions:

“What is a “civilization city”?“

“What is it like to lớn live sầu in an urban zone explicitly designed to lớn foster “urban civilization”?

“How does living in a place lượt thích this change the people who live there?”

Through the course of in-depth ethnographic retìm kiếm with residents of Prúc Mỹ Hưng, we discovered that the idea of “urban civilization” was a powerful organizing framework for their understanding of the new world they wanted to lớn create by living in the new spatial world of Prúc Mỹ Hưng. But we also learned that the interaction between the master-planned space & the people who live sầu in it is not one-way. This New Urban Zone has not only transformed Vietnamese life, but Vietnamese modes of living in and experiencing urban life have transformed the original vision of the development.

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The residence area is filled with condominiums, townhouses & shopping centers that transkhung everyday life for residents. There is no more space for “alleyway culture” in the new city. Families rarely interact spontaneously with their neighbors, even if they live next door to lớn one another. Street cafes & sidewalk vendors no longer exist in the way they vì in other parts of Ho Chi Minc City & elsewhere throughout Vietnam. But this does not mean that social life has disappeared; it simply takes new forms. In the New Urban Zone, friends bởi vì not meet for coffee at impromptu sidewalk cafes. Instead, they meet early in the morning khổng lồ exercise, to play tennis, badminton, and lớn walk together around the open streets and through the exercise pathways in the area’s parks. At other times of the day, they meet at cafes & restaurants. While spontaneous visits to lớn “drop by” people’s homes are increasingly rare, friends still invite invite each other lớn their houses.

It is a common perception that Phụ Mỹ Hưng introduced an urban space that is controlled exclusively by elites–that it is an area reserved exclusively for “rich people.” This is partly true: access lớn the most expensive housing in the new urban zone is limited khổng lồ those who can afford the high price of living, including Western and Asian expatriate business managers, well-situated overseas Vietnamese (Viet Kieu), và successful Vietnamese businesspeople. But there are also many middle-income Vietnamese who choose lớn rent or purchase smaller flats in some of the older và less-expensive apartment complexes. Even the cheapest housing in Phú Mỹ Hưng (several hundred dollars per-month for a two bedroom apartment in the oldest apartment complex) is certainly not affordable lớn all Vietnamese in the city. Other forms of housing include a mixture of older rental apartments, semi-detached residential housing, và row-houses with street-màn chơi storefronts, which complement the more exclusive high-over residences. Luxury condominiums, stand alone villas, và resort-like homes stand behind the security perimeter of walled-in gated communities.

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Cliông chồng here lớn read a brief history of Phụ Mỹ Hưng.

Phụ Mỹ Hưng Photos

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Everyday Life
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Civilizing Dreams
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Lvà & Capital

These phokhổng lồ galleries illustrate the interaction between utopian visions of the New Urban Zone, & the ways in which people inhabit it. The photos not only show how Phụ Mỹ Hưng changes the people who live there, but also how they have sầu changed Prúc Mỹ Hưng.