EcoPark Satellite City Project, Hanoi, Vietnam

A ‘perfect harmony of humans and nature’? The EcoPark Satellite City Project causes currently the largest land conflict in Vietnam, due to forced evictions of farmers, depending on their agricultural land to make a living


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The 500ha EcoPark Satellite City Project that would construct around 20,000 residential units in Van Giang district close to urban Hanoi was approved by the government in 2004 and is currently among the largest urban development projects within Northern Vietnam. It was described by the proponents as the “perfect harmony of humans and nature”; however, this perception put forward by the urban elite, drastically clashes against the needs and development visions of the 4,000 families to be evicted, as the project is located on their agricultural lands, on which they base their livelihood. Consequently, the EcoPark has led to the most severe recent conflicts over land in Vietnam [1;2;3].</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Since 2005, the company has tried to implement the project, but according to the villagers, the land was granted under illegal conditions that do not comply with the law, as there were neither proper consultation nor compensation processes [1;4]. Protests during 2006 have achieved a temporary suspension of the project, which however, was later on put back on the agenda [5]. During the land confiscations and evictions conducted in 2009 and 2012, around 2000 households refused to take compensation, as, according to them, they were far too low [1;4]. Corruption likely has played a central role in worsening the conditions and allocation of adequate funds to the affected families [5]. <br/><br/>Periodic protests on site as well as in front of the government followed. When hired workers first arrived to clear the land, they clashed against the villagers, leading to several people injured [1]. Particularly during April 2012, the conflict violently escalated, when during a police’s mass effort to evict villagers and to stop protesters with violence and tear gas, people defended themselves with throwing stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails ([3;4] and videos). Before the April 2012 evictions, that involved 5.8 ha of 166 families, as part of the development of 72.6ha during Phase 2 of the satellite city [6], farmers had set up camps to guard the area. About 3,000 policemen and soldiers however arrived and went against 1,000 villagers. Several people were detained and had to remain in custody [3]. Journalists documenting the evictions were beaten by the police [3]. In the following, villagers filed complaints at the Van Giang people’s Court (May, 2012), which however were rejected and ignored, as according to the court there was a lack of evidence [4;7]. <br/><br/>On February 10, 2014, the project developer allegedly sent armed men to prevent farmers from reclaiming their rice fields, set aside for the EcoPark. The armed men shot at several farmers, five of which were injured. Large protests followed, and further claims to fully investigate the shooting were voiced [4].<br/><br/>In May 2014, EcoPark ironically won the Asia Pacific Property Awards due to its “careful planning and sustainable development strategy” [8]. As of June 2015, the conflict goes on, being currently one of the most contentious land conflicts, in which small-farmers defend their land rights to make a living against an urban elite, profiting from luxury infrastructure projects.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>EcoPark Satellite City Project, Hanoi, Vietnam</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/vietnam">Vietnam</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Hung Yen Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Văn Giang District</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Infrastructure and Built Environment</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Urban development conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The EcoPark Satellite City Project was approved by former Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2004 [1]. The purpose of the project is to create a large residential zone with around 20,000 residential units as well as luxury facilities such as a golf course, around 20 km Southeast of Hanoi, well-connected via urban transport. It is among the largest infrastructure projects in Northern Vietnam. Total project area amounts to 499.9ha and total investment size, required for its 9 phases of construction, was reported to amount to 8.2 billion USD [2].</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">The Ecopark is developed by Viet Hung Urban Development and Investment J.S.C (VIHAJICO), a joint venture of the following Vietnamese Companies: AA Construction Architecture Joint Stock Company (AA Corporation); ATA Architects Co., Ltd; Nam Thanh Do Construction Consultants J.S.C; Thanh Nam Construction and Investment J.S.C; Duy Nghia Co., Ltd; Phung Thien Trading Co., Ltd; Nam Thanh Tourism and Commerce J.S.C; Bao Tin Trading Co., Ltd. [9].<br/><br/>The contractor company for the first phase, the construction of the Rung Co Apartments, was Vietanmese CotecCons. First phase was completed in late 2011 [10]. <br/><br/>No information on the sources of loans and credits could be found. Vietcombank supports customers who want to buy apartments in the EcoPark with especially low interest rates [11].<br/><br/>More than 4,000 families have to be evicted for the EcoPark Satellite City Project [3]. According to newspaper reports, around 1,700$ were offered for each 360m2 plot, which according to villagers is inadequate [12].<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>500</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>8,200,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Semi-urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>4000 families (an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people) to be evicted</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>29/06/2004</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/viet-hung-urban-development-and-investment-jsc-vihajico'>Viet Hung Urban Development and Investment J.S.C (VIHAJICO) <small>(VIHAJICO)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction, property development</small><br /><a href='/company/aa-construction-architecture-joint-stock-company-aa-corporation'>AA Construction Architecture Joint Stock Company (AA Corporation) <small>(AA Corporation)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>property development</small><br /><a href='/company/ata-architects-co-ltd'>ATA Architects Co. Ltd. <small>(ATA)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction, property development</small><br /><a href='/company/nam-thanh-do-construction-consultants-jsc'>Nam Thanh Do Construction Consultants J.S.C</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction, property development</small><br /><a href='/company/thanh-nam-construction-and-investment-jsc'>Thanh Nam Construction and Investment J.S.C</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction, property development</small><br /><a href='/company/duy-nghia-co-ltd'>Duy Nghia Co., Ltd</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>property development</small><br /><a href='/company/phung-thien-trading-co-ltd'>Phung Thien Trading Co., Ltd</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>property development</small><br /><a href='/company/nam-thanh-tourism-and-commerce-jsc'>Nam Thanh Tourism and Commerce J.S.C</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>tourism, property development</small><br /><a href='/company/bao-tin-trading-co-ltd'>Bao Tin Trading Co., Ltd. </a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction, trading</small><br /><a href='/company/coteccons-group'>COTECCONS Group</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>construction</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Vietnamese (Deptuty) Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/vietcombank'>Vietcombank</a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a> - <small>banking, finance, investment</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Urban internet activists supported the protests; Vietnamese Fatherland Front cooperated in protests</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Women<br /> Affected farmers were strongly supported by Vietnamese Internet activists/bloggers, who actively disseminated information, in the face of lacking public media coverage</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Land occupation<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Threats to use arms<br /> Occupation of buildings/public spaces<br /> Refusal of compensation<br /> Affected farmers were strongly supported by Vietnamese Internet activists/bloggers, who actively disseminated information, in the face of lacking public media coverage</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) <br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Under construction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Corruption<br /> Court decision (failure for environmental justice)<br /> Project temporarily suspended<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Repression<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> Migration/displacement<br /> Violence against farmers but also journalists</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Affected families want cancellation of the project, or at least proper compensation.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The project goes on.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Vietnamese Land Law of 2013 (Land Law No.45/2013/QH13)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.itpc.gov.vn/investors/how_to_invest/law/Law_on_land/mldocument_view/?set_language=en" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Vietnamese Land Law of 2003 (No. 13/2003/QH11)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://moj.gov.vn/vbpq/en/Lists/Vn%20bn%20php%20lut/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=8269" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> [1] RFA News online (09/10/2012): "Hundreds Protest Land Grab" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/protest-10092012173911.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [2] Eco Park– The City of Green and Blue (Project Description) (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://vnre.reic.vn/2008/03/eco-park-city-of-future.html " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [3] Telegraph.co.uk online (09/05/2012): "Journalists beaten by Vietnamese police" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/vietnam/9253667/Journalists-beaten-by-Vietnamese-police.html?mobile=basic" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [4] RFA News online (07/03/2014): "Vietnamese Farmers Demand Tough Action Against Land-Grabbing ‘Thugs’ " (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/van-giang-03072014153929.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [5] Chinapost online (22/02/2013): "Farmers in Vietnam protest land 'robbed' for satellite city" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/asia/vietnam/2012/02/22/332367/Farmers-in.htm" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [6] The Irrawaddy online (26/04/2012): "Vietnam Detains 20 Following Mass Land Eviction" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.irrawaddy.org/asia/vietnam-detains-20-following-mass-land-eviction.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [7] RFA News online (24/04/2013): "A Year After Clashes, Vietnamese Land Dispute Unresolved" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/van-giang-04242013184638.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [8] Vietnam Breaking News online (17/05/2014): "Ecopark celebrates regional laudation" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.vietnambreakingnews.com/2014/05/ecopark-celebrates-regional-laudation/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [9] Wikipedia on the EcoPark Project (accessed 06/09/2015) (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopark_%28Vietnam%29" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [10] Vietnam Breaking News online (18/10/2011): "Ecopark comes to life" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.vietnambreakingnews.com/2011/10/ecopark-comes-to-life/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [11] Viet Nam News online (04/08/2012): "Banks resume real-estate lending" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://vietnamnews.vn/Economy/228352/banks-resume-real-estate-lending.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [12] BBC News online (25/04/2012): "Vietnam land clash: Arrests after police evict hundreds" (accessed 06/09/2015)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17844198" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> April 2012 evictions<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in0veUYNnQc" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> April 2012 confrontations<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c2LIxcJn2Y " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Violent evictions<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnYsHNFxs7E" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Project plans</strong> Source: http://vnre.reic.vn/2008/03/eco-park-city-of-future.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/b__3864564884_738e910c73.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Project plan</strong> Source: http://vnre.reic.vn/2008/03/eco-park-city-of-future.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/b__3863781839_c66be1d71b.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Protests</strong> Source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/protest-10092012173911.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/a____image.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Protest marches</strong> Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17844198<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/f____59844879_014558518-2.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Location</strong> Source: http://vnre.reic.vn/2008/03/eco-park-city-of-future.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/b___location_3864564666_801ae043a2.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Protest marches</strong> Source: http://www.irrawaddy.org/asia/vietnam-detains-20-following-mass-land-eviction.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/g___AP-hanoi.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Overnight camps</strong> Source: http://eyedrd.org/2012/04/4000-vietnamese-police-agents-were-used-to-seize-lands-dislodging-4000-farming-families.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/h__camps_vangiang3.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Protests</strong> Source: http://eyedrd.org/2012/04/4000-vietnamese-police-agents-were-used-to-seize-lands-dislodging-4000-farming-families.html<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/h__portests_vanggiang9.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>19/06/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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