ASU, Ho Chi Minh City Launch Smart City Initiative

A contingent of more than 30 delegates from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, led by Party Secretary Nguyen Thin Nhan, met with Arizona State University officials at the McCain Center in Washington, D.C. on December 16 to begin an initiative to support the HCMC Smart Sustainable City Project.

The ASU-HCMC People’s Committee will launch a Decision Theater in HCMC and will focus on transportation as an initial project area. Future bi-lateral projects will include emergency preparedness, education, energy and security for HCMC, Vietnam’s largest city with an estimated population of 10 million. 


Above: Members of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee present ASU officials with a
plaque of appreciation during the launch of the HCMC Smart Sustainable City Project collaboration.
From Left: LÊ Thanh Liêm, First Deputy Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee/First Vice
Mayor; Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, Politburo Member, National Assembly
Deputy, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Party Secretary; Lt. General Benjamin C. Freakly,
ASU Decision Theater Executive Director, and Jeffrey Goss, vice provost,
ASU Southeast Asia programs and executive director, Global Outreach and
Extended Education. Photo: ASU

ASU Decision Theater Executive Director Lt. General Benjamin C. Freakly and Major General (retired) Jon Miller, Decision Theater director, briefed the Vietnamese delegation, comprised of industry, academic and government leaders, about how the Decision Theater will support the initiative.

The Decision Theater is an immersive “visualization theater,” with facilities in Tempe, Arizona and Washington, D.C., that uses collaboration, computing and display technologies that enable participants to visualize solutions to complex problems in arenas that will be critical to building smart city.

Interconnectivity technologies, including an infrastructure for data collection and analysis that can be deployed across networks like emergency services, transportation systems and energy and water management, can be identified and managed through the Decision Theater’s Complex Systems Framework. Decision Theater’s MapStory provides a spatial data infrastructure for mapping and social networking projects, and computer modeling capacity allows outcome prediction based on internet of things variables.

The delegation’s visit to the McCain Center was hosted by Global Outreach and Extended Education in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, which has been at the forefront of ASU’s collaborations with Vietnamese universities in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and major industry partners.

“This new initiative amplifies ASU’s enduring relationship with Vietnam’s government, academic and private-sector partners,” said Jeffrey Goss, vice provost of ASU’s Southeast Asia programs and Executive Director of Global Outreach and Extended Education. “The Smart City collaboration represents how ASU and its partners continue to develop high-impact, innovative projects to improve the day-to-day lives of the people of Vietnam.”