Vietnam has long been the subject of French urban research. However, it is difficult to get an overall perspective of the themes and issues of this research as it is fragmented between various organizations and institutions. The same problem applies to Vietnamese research, as institutions are highly compartmentalized, and suffer from a lack of international exposure. There is actually a wide variety of institutions producing urban research in France and Vietnam: research institutes attached to central administration or local government, universities, ministries, international institutions, NGOs, etc.
One of the PRUD's achievements has consisted in initiating specific studies which brought together French and Vietnamese teams from the north and south of the country and from diverse institutions. This publication reflects part of the results obtained.
The PRUD programme demonstrates that research can be conducted in parallel on very similar themes, yet according to very different problematics. Now would be the opportunity to go over the outcome of this research using both a comparative and a synthetic approach, with an eye to joint publications.
It would be useful to improve the circulation of information on past, current and projected urban research in Vietnam — and, more generally, in Southeast Asia. This information is currently too scattered. Consultation between research centres could lead to the publication of a periodic bulletin, which would make studies and research in this field more widely available. The Cooperation Centre for Urban Development (IMV) and the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Development Management Support Centre (PADDI) could coordinate such a project.
There is no point in attempting to formulate a synthesis of the presentations contained in the present publication given the diversity of the subjects. Our ambition here is, firstly, to recapitulate on some of the issues dealt with by the PRUD (Urban Research Programme for Development) projects, as well as to review some of the main characteristics of urban mutations in Vietnam during the current transition period as outlined in the work carried out by the research teams.