Photo: Tien An street, Bac Ninh town in 1920, is Ngo Gia Tu street, Bac Ninh province, at present (Documentary photo)
Power from the source

Long long ago, Bac Ninh town was the place where people gathered along the roads from Hanoi – Lang Son, from Cong O intersection to Cau River. Nearly one thousand years ago, our nation set up an overwhelming victory, crushed the will of invaders and affirmed the state’s sovereignty.

Accompanying the historical flow, Bac Ninh town always has the status of a provincial hub. In 1938, Bac Ninh was ranked as the fifth city of Tonkin (after Hanoi, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Hai Duong). Thirty-four years after Bac Ninh province merging with Bac Giang province, Bac Ninh town was not a provincial hub, but still an urban, economic and cultural center of northern Bac Ninh.

On January 25th, 2006, the Government promulgated a decree on the establishment of Bac Ninh City, and eight years after recognized as a second-class city. On December 25th, 2017, the city was recognized as the first-class city of Bac Ninh province.

After many adjustments of administrative boundaries, the city now has 16 wards and 3 communes, with natural area of 82.6 km2, the population of 50.2 thousand people (as of May, 2017). It is the administrative unit with the largest population among districts and towns in the province.

In the spring of 1997, Bac Ninh province was re-established and Bac Ninh town became a provincial hub. It was also the time Vietnam promoted industrialization and modernization. After becoming provincial town, the town has gradually changed.

The most fundamental change is that, from an urban center mainly for agriculture and small scale industry, with the self-sufficient economy, it turned into an industrial city. Gross Regional Domestic Product) (GRDP) in the 1997-2016 period increased by an average of 15.25% per year. Average income reached USD5,600 USD (VND127 million). In 2017, the industrial, construction and service sectors accounted for 98.7%; agriculture, forestry and fishery was 1.3%. Along with the economic restructuring, labour structure rapidly shifted from agricultural labour to industrial production and construction service. City budget revenue in 2017 reached VND2,086 billion, increasing 23% in comparison with the previous year, accounting for nearly 10% of the provincial budget revenue.

Bac Ninh city becomes a busy city. Accordingly, three concentrated industrial zones and five handicrafts industrial clusters were established, attracting  nearly 2,000 enterprises and hundreds of establishments and cooperatives producing industrial and handicraft products. Many corporations such as Vincom and APEC have been investing in the city. More and more trade centers, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants have been built, meeting the increasing demand of local people and tourists.

Large-scale urban projects are invested and put into use such as Vu Ninh – Kinh Bac, Hoa Long – Kinh Bac, Ho Ngoc Lan III, Le Thai To street new urban area, Kinh Duong Vuong street new urban area, Nam Vo Cuong new urban area. They are attractive living spaces, attracting residents from Hanoi, Bac Giang province and some neighbouring provinces.

There are historical and cultural relics sites such as Bac Ninh ancient citadel, one of the four most beautiful citadels in Tonkin; Bac Ninh Temple of Literature that preserves 12 steles, recording 677 outstanding students from Kinh Bac. Moreover, large cultural, educational and medical establishments such as Kinh Bac Culture Center, Bac Ninh high school for the gifted, Bac Ninh provincial hospital, library and museum, were set up.

Smart city for a peaceful and happy life

Over the past 20 years, Bac Ninh City has made much progress. In the trend of the industrial revolution 4.0,  the city is facing new opportunities and opportunities, towards building a smart city for the benefit and improvement of the quality of people’s life.

Implementing the Resolution of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee on building Bac Ninh urban area into a civilized, modern and cultural city, towards intellectual economy and smart city, the city has developed and put into operation the Public Administrative Center, with modern equipment, based on information technology, to serve about 100 people at the same time.

The Public Administration Center has contributed to increasing transparency, reducing inconvenience for people and businesses. People do not have to spend much time and effort understanding administrative procedures. At the same time, individuals and organizations can perform many administrative procedures in different fields and know the status of handling state agencies' dossiers via SMS by automatic software.

The city has carried out projects using information technology, providing service utilities in the fields of transportation, health, education, security and order, water sprinkler system operation, public lighting; installed cameras at traffic junctions, connecting with relevant agencies such as police and urban order management team; pilot to install security camera at key wards in Tien An precinct; and equip large screens at precinct and commune People’s Committee, serving online conferences between provinces, city and the grassroots.

Photo: A corner of Bac Ninh city at present. (Photo by Hong Minh)
At present, nearly 40% of households have computers, nearly 30% of households have Internet connections, 93.9% of businesses connect and use the Internet. The percentage of people and businesses having computers and accessing Internet create a convenient environment for people to access online public services provided by the province and the city, and positively impact e-citizen development.

In order to meet the increasing demand of the people, the city has installed a free wifi system in the area, creating good conditions for people to access the internet and easily exploit information; it is also an important information channel that reflects the satisfaction of the people and acquires the opinions of the people and enterprises.

Preparing for the process of building smart urban, the city always pays attention to human resources that, provided with information technology, cultivate the staff of young leaders and managers.  

Bac Ninh City Party Committee has over 9,400 Party members, accounting for 17% of Party members in the province.  It has the highest percentage of members in the province. Some of the leading and managerial staff of the city, precinct and commune are under the age of 40 with good training, knowledge, strong political will, high responsibility, active and have dreams and aspirations, creating marks in assigned fields, believed and expected by cadres, party members and community of people.

In 2018, the city strives to implement five political determinations, including 100% of classrooms solidified, renovated and upgraded, and 20 new schools built; The "receive and return results" of 19 communes and precincts meet the criteria of communication - modern - friendly - effective; Planting 20,000 new urban trees; 100% of villages and wards are equipped with outdoor sports equipment; Continue to invest and implement steps upgrading 3 communes to precincts.

In the process of building a smart urban area, Bac Ninh city also has many difficulties and challenges. With the political will of the Party Committee, the authorities at all levels, and the initial foundation of socio-economic infrastructure, information technology and political and spiritual resources, the appearance of a smart city, e-government, e-citizen, and e-business will be located in the city of Quan ho folk singing in the near future./.

Tuyet Nhung