Inequalities between peri-urban and urban areas in urbanization process of Ho Chi Minh City: An urban political-ecology perspective

Since the implementation of Vietnam’s economic renovation or ‘Doi Moi’ policy in 1986, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) urban has grown quickly. However, this also leads to an increase in inequality. Its peri-urban area, which undergoes a higher level of urbanization than an urban area, faces more problems such as land-use change, inadequate development process, unequal allocation of services and investment, and ignorance of environmental protection and cultural preservation. These impacts show inequality in living conditions between residents of the peri-urban area and the urban area. Using the framework of the Peri-Urban Political-Ecology, this paper depicts a general picture of the situation and analyse the causes of social inequalities between these two areas in terms of economy, public services, and the environment through “everyday practices”. Using HCMC’s statistical data in the 2015-2017 period, we find that the main causes in inequalities between these two areas are the inevitability of urban metabolism and the unequal power interaction among the state, society and market.