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From Spontaneous to Planned Urban Development and Quality of Life: the Case of Ho Chi Minh City


This paper studies the quality of life (QOL) that residents perceive in typical urban patterns in Ho Chi Minh City. Its major focus is to examine the improvement in the QOL through public intervention into the urban development process. There are four findings. First, moderate government intervention to correct market failures in areas where spontaneous urban development has occurred generates similar levels of satisfaction to areas with planned development. Second, urban planning is important as housing values and subjective satisfactions in planned areas are higher than those in spontaneous development areas. Third, redevelopment negatively affects the QOL in areas undergoing redevelopment. Finally, the contrast between the housing value and the subjective life satisfaction in spontaneous development areas undergoing redevelopment shows the problem of relying on the revealed preference assumption in traditional economics and the need for having alternative approaches.

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We are grateful to Pham Minh Thien Phuoc and her team for helping us to conduct the onsite survey. We thank our colleagues and friends for their help and support.

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Correspondence to Du The Huynh.



Table 5 Rotated factors for housing value regression
Table 6 Rotated factors for satisfaction regressions

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Huynh, D.T., Peiser, R.B. From Spontaneous to Planned Urban Development and Quality of Life: the Case of Ho Chi Minh City. Applied Research Quality Life 11, 1357–1377 (2016).

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  • Quality of life
  • Urban planning
  • Unplanned development
  • Redevelopment
  • Ho Chi Minh City