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Aug 24, 2020 / 09:54

Hanoi makes more efforts to become a green city: Experts

According to many urban experts, to become a green city, Hanoi needs to meet a host of criteria.

Efforts for making Hanoi a green city should be stated consistently the capital city’s master plan, Kinh Te & Do Thi reported, citing urban experts.

The master plan of the capital city of Hanoi until 2030 with a vision to 2050 was approved by the prime Minister in July 2011. It envisions that Hanoi will be a green city with environmental sustainability and ecological urbanity.

Hanoi's green space is planned to account for a large proportion of the total natural area in ​​the city, including agricultural land, forest land, rivers, lakes, open spaces and urban parks, among others, according to the master plan.

It can be said that by setting such goals, urban planners aimed at restoring the balance between economic development, environmental protection and green urban development.

 A corner of Hanoi viewed from the west. Photo: Pham Hung

However, over a decade since Hanoi’s administrative boundary was expanded, the goals have not been achieved. The city often suffers from inundation whenever it rains heavily, environmental pollution is worsening, the growth of green area has not been commensurate with the development of high-rise buildings.

Besides, the pace of urbanization in Hanoi is dizzying, as the city’s housing stock is added 12 million square meters every year, which is equal to the housing development of ​​100 years, from 1900 to 2000.

The growing housing development is taking up Hanoi's green spaces. Within 15 years, from 1993 to 2008, Hanoi lost 21 lakes, the area of ​​lakes in the city decreased from 850 hectares to 547 hectares.

Although the municipal government has focused on planting more trees, the necessary standards of urban greenery have not been met.

According to architect Tran Huy Anh from the Hanoi Association of Architects, over the past years, Hanoi’s green environment has been severely damaged. The natural green areas of the land and water are gradually overwhelmed by gray colors of concrete and high-rise buildings.

Obstacles remain

According to many urban experts, to become a green city, Hanoi must meet seven criteria: green space; green building; green transport; green industry; green urban environment quality; conservation of cultural, historical and scenic landscapes and natural landscapes; and environmental-friendly community.

Prof. Pham Ngoc Dang, vice chairman of the Vietnam Association of Nature and Environment Protection, said that Vietnam has hot and humid tropical climate conditions, which is a favorable environment for developing urban green spaces and architectural works. Moreover, Vietnam can learn experiences from developed countries in building a green city.

However, building a green city in Vietnam in general as well as in Hanoi in particular still faces a host of obstacles, including poor technical and social infrastructure, seriously-polluted environment in many places, overpopulation, and unqualified planning experts.

“The urban land fund must be planned and used properly. Real estate development must go hand in hand with ecological agricultural development. The essence of green and sustainable urban development is to achieve the environmental balance, the balance of benefits, the balance between nature and social welfare,” architect Tran Huy Anh emphasized.

To reach the goal of green urban development, urban experts say that Hanoi’s planning work must be taken into consideration in the development of agriculture, industry, transport, real estate, and public spaces, among others.