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Hanoi's inner districts advance historical zoning project

The inner districts of Hanoi have been actively realising the schemes of zoning inner-city historical sites after one year of being approved by Hanoi authorities.
The Old Quarter of Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District is preserved under the schemes of zoning inner-city historical sites. — Photo kinhtechungkhoan.vn

The historical zones cover the four districts of Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, and Hai Ba Trung.

Among the districts, Hoan Kiem District has been implementing many plans and projects on urban embellishment and reconstruction to promote the special heritage value of the capital.

According to the planning project, Hoan Kiem District includes areas of the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and surrounding areas, and old urban streets.

Hanoi Old Quarter represents historical and cultural value with key functions of trade, services, tourism, and accommodations purposes. 

Hoan Kiem Lake area and surrounding areas are defined as Hanoi's "scenic" locations, acting as cultural, administrative, commercial, service and tourism centres, including accommodation.

Old urban streets are ancient urban areas with a series of historical, cultural, and architectural projects. Key functions include workplaces, homes and centres of commerce and finance.

Chairman of People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem District Pham Tuan Long said that after more than one year of approving the historical zoning project, the district had co-ordinated with the Hanoi Institute of Construction and Planning to design urban areas for streets of Tran Nhat Duat, Tran Quang  Khai, Tran Khanh Du, Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao and Hai Ba Trung as well as urban enhancement and renovating projects for old apartment buildings, and plans to preserve and promote the Old Quarter area.

Particularly in the Old Quarter, the district had re-evaluated ongoing projects, tallied works of architectural and artistic value and focused on site clearance, relic restoration, technical infrastructure improvement, and street facade embellishment, said Long.

In addition, the district encouraged the restoration of works according to the typical architecture of the Old Quarter, opening pedestrian streets with traditional product shops, and planting more trees in the streets, he said.

Late last year, the district completed the renovation of Bach Ma Temple and a cultural centre on Hang Buom Street.

The renovation project of Vu Dong and Ha Vy ancient communal houses in Hang Hom Street will be completed this year.

Difficulties in preserving heritages

According to Long, the preservation of heritage values ​​and urban reconstruction to improve the living conditions of people in the district as per the city’s planning had certain difficulties.

The district’s land fund was small while the population density was high and the housing quality was degraded because the ancient, old houses have not been renovated and repaired.

“In particular, degraded buildings were often complicated in terms of ownership, so it was very difficult to repair and renovate,” Long said.

“Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic had caused slow progress of decorating streets.” 

However, there are also many favourable factors including complete legal documents and better awareness of urban heritage conservation among the people.

“Along with the Government’s efforts, the most important thing was people's awareness, responsibilities and contribution to protecting, preserving and promoting heritage values of the capital city,” said the district leader.

Going forward, the district will raise awareness for the community in urban heritage conservation and urban reconstruction.

Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association Dao Ngoc Nghiem said that currently, Hoan Kiem District had implemented and completed urban planning projects, creating a legal framework for both preserving cultural and historical values​​ and building a civilised and modern capital.

“The problem was that the city authorities and relevant ministries needed to pay more attention to offering specific mechanisms and policies to solve current planning problems such as the reduction of population density in the Old Quarter area to make the historical zoning plan feasible,” Nghiem said. 

Source: Vietnam News

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