The Hanoitimes - The “Establishing Comprehensive Bicycle Plan and Free/low-cost Bicycle Sharing Programme in Hoi An city” project official scooped the Global Urban Mobility Challenge Award of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative.
The project, which was proposed by HeathBridge Vietnam and Hoi An city with funding from German development agency (GIZ), will pick up the prize at an official ceremony for the 10 winning proposals in Leipzig, Germany on May 22 - 25.
The scheme aims to build up a master plan of green and sustainable traffic development with two focuses on road traffic safety and community heath, according to Nguyen Van Lanh, Head of the city’s Culture and Information Office.
Hoi An bicycle.
The project plans to launch the first free and low-cost bicycle for lease in the Public-Private Partnership co-operation and sharing with current similar services at hotels and resorts in Hoi An, he added.
The project also includes the development of a safe infrastructure for bicycle riders, offering opportunities for residents and tourists to cycle easier. The city also encourages local people and tourists to leave cars and buses while traveling in the city and nearby destinations.
In 2017, public battery-powered car routes were launched as a pilot scheme to boost environment-friendly public transport in the tourism hub of central Vietnam. The city also plans to provide 100,000 bicycles for residents in order to become the first eco-city in Vietnam.
Bicycles are the favoured mode of transport for tourists, local women and children visiting destinations of the city, suburb and beaches. Hoi An city has launched a solar-power system for public lighting, loud-speakers and lanterns in the old quarter of the city.
In 2013, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), it also debuted a solar power system at Hoai River Square and Cham Island. In 2016, Hoi An, and Naha City, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, agreed to develop Hoi An into the first eco-city in Vietnam.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Hoi An to strive to become the leading ancient tourism city in the region and the world, while attending a ceremony to mark 10 years of Hoi An being the city of central Quang Nam province on March 24.
Hoi An welcomed 3.2 million tourist arrivals in 2017, up nearly 200% compared with 10 years ago. The tourism, services and trade sectors accounted for 70% of the city’s total production value, according to Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Tourism has stimulated the growth of local business and production activities. Locals’ living conditions have been improved, which is reflected through the per capita income rising from VND17 million (US$748) in 2008 to over VND40 million (US$1,760) in 2017.