As Hanoi’s urban sprawl spreads its tentacles, a new project is under way to counteract the ugliness of development; the planting of one million trees. But will it make a difference?
What makes a place a city? Is a city a collection of roads and buildings or the area within a line drawn on a map?
In Ho Chi Minh City, as in many developing cities, there are those who support new development and those who support preservation. These two approaches are often characterised by their opponents as either destructive or nostalgic.
In this modern era we assume that our cities will endure forever, despite evidence of past cities and civilisations that have imploded or vanished.
The transformation of Hanoi from sleepy hollow into modern megacity is well and truly underway. But the decisions being made are often informal and spontaneous.
As modern Vietnam moves to a Korean or Singaporean style of apartment living, questions of how this will affect feelings of community remain unanswered.
An architect and an urban planner, Ed Haysom is involved first-hand in the creation of residential and non-residential projects in Vietnam. Photo by Bao Zoan
With all the change, destruction and reconstruction, there is a sense that Vietnam’s architectural traditions are being lost.
An architect and a consultant, through Green Consult Asia Melissa Merryweather is at the forefront of promoting sustainable architecture and urban planning in Vietnam. Photo by Kyle Phanroy