Monday, 18 Dec 2017

Tranquil Hanoi in walking space

Updated at Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016, 15:52
The Hanoitimes - The walking street around the Sword Lake is a typical cultural feature of the City and attraction to the people and tourists who have demand for walking, shopping and sightseeing. Therefore, after over one month of operation, this space has drawn more and more interest and support from the society.
20-year expectation
When mentioning about Hanoi, it means talking about the populousness, prosperity and long streets with crowded vehicles and loud whistles. At the walking street around the Sword Lake, all the above chaos seem to be forgotten. In this place, there is only one green space with trees around the lake and airiness. It is a Hanoi with a lot of memories and isolation from the noisiness outside. There, all the youth, the elderly, man and woman can immerse in folk games in their childhood. It is a familiar, gentle and vivid Hanoi.
The reality has also proved that walking street has become more and more popular in many countries in the world. It starts from Copenhagen (Denmark) and then spreads around the world in the form of walking streets, Sunday streets or riding streets. The best living cities in the ratings often appear with the criterion on prioritizing pedestrians to raise the public space and living quality.
Architect Ngo Doan Duc remembered the Sword Lake in the 70s of the previous century with a serene beauty because vehicles traveling around the Sword Lake were mainly bicycles. Metros on Dinh Tien Hoang Street crossing Hang Nang were also operated with 10 minutes/trip while motorbikes and cars hardly appeared. It is inevitable that the development of the modern society has broken such tranquility. However, when the life develops stably, the attempt to return the existing beauty of the Sword Lake by establishing a walking street is the next task to be done. The expectation and idea about a walking space around the Sword Lake which was inspired 20 years ago has come true.
Illustrative image
Illustrative image
According to Architect Nguyen Phu Duc, the upgrading and decorating of the Sword Lake include the master and synchronous architecture in the vertical side of the work, technical infrastructure, lighting, walking street, etc. will help raise the perception of the aesthetics of the walking street.
Accordingly, the principle for upgrading and improving the architectural structure is studying the design and upgrading of the vertical side of works in streets around the Sword Lake and the ambiance (Hang Khay, Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To, Hoan Kiem Lake, Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, Trang Tien, a parts of Hang Dau and Lo Su around Ba Kieu Temple).
It is required to maximally recover the original architectural language. For the parts attached to the work, it is necessary to study the paint colors, system of doors, balconies, etc. to be harmonized with the typical cultural features. The specific regulations on the positions and sizes of signboards must follow the approved design. It is also crucial to remove the old and illegal roofs; rearrange them in reasonable positions and try to prevent them from hiding the visibility from streets. In case it is impossible to change the positions, it is necessary to arrange concealing materials by the architectural style with uniform architectural language, synchronous shape with the balcony, iron pales which are arranged under windows' edge, etc. For signboards: they must not exceed the height of windows and be 2m away from the ground.
To be more thoroughly
Basically, all the urban planning and architectural experts determine that the establishment of a walking street around the Sword Lake is essential. However, if there is still limitation regarding the chaos in prices and parking areas, associated services, environment, etc., it will be incomplete. It will take a lot of efforts to implement a good guideline and there must be solutions to overcome these disadvantages to avoid affecting the overall implication.
To establish a safe, civilized, attractive and effective walking space in the area, according to architect Nguyen Duc Hung - Hanoi Urban Planning Institute, regarding the architectural planning, the City needs to continue to conduct in-depth research on the urban design; recreation of valuable works; organize the green space and typical flora gardens by season; erect lively opened/close landscapes to attract tourists and the community; use vivid lighting equipment and upgrade hallmark spaces and works.
Hanoi needs to have a strict management regime on the urban space, architectural forms and landscapes in accordance with the approved planning. An outstanding problem is studying and organizing the traffic, parking area; reasonably and conveniently organizing the traffic lanes to access the walking space, attached to a modern parking area with reasonable prices.
At the same time, it is necessary to study and organize the public traffic conveniently to connect to the outside. Organize the environmentally-friendly tram and bus lines to connect to the walking street. Flexibly exploit the service, commercial, cultural and entertaining functions around the Sword Lake. Integrate the walking space with the playing ground for pupils in the Old Quarter. At the same time, encourage the people to participate in the activities of creating the environmental, commercial, cultural and tourism areas with civilized and polite serving attitude to create the image of elegant Hanoians.
Frankly recognize specific shortcomings, Vice Chairman of Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Dinh Hong Phong said that the Unit continues to receive the contributed opinions from the people and will soon overcome those shortcomings. In the coming time, the district will coordinate with Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade to study and jointly operate stores and shops in the area to support the activities in the walking space. However, the Sword Lake is a special national relic, so the introduction of commercial services needs to be considered carefully.
From another perspective, architect Luong Van Son - Branch of HACID Branch assessed that Hanoi's walking street will create a new vitality for Thang Long - Ke Cho relic in the traditional business streets. In the coming time, when the whole Hanoi's Old Quarter becomes a walking space, the approach by mechanical vehicles will be restricted - which is a mutually-affected issues: The production will break the walking while the walking will hinder the production.
It means that there must be appropriate measures For businesses which may cause pollution and occupy a large area such as mechanics, porcelain, etc., there must be large areas and planning on the production areas such as in Gia Lam, Thuong Tin, Thach That, etc. Stores in the Old Quarter only play the role of transaction points.
The City needs to provide the best transmission line to broadcast live the production images at plants to the large screens at stores in the Old Quarter. For businesses which are light and clean such as hand-embroidering, jewelry, dining, etc., they must be prioritized to hire more sidewalks to serve their production. If these practical demand is not met, the people will appropriate the sidewalks. Therefore, the sidewalks must be assigned to them to be used in an organized manner. It is required to harmonize everything so that Hanoi's walking street to approach a greener and more sustainable future so that it can continue to develop from the Thang Long - Ke Cho foundation. 
Translated by Anh Dat
Source:Van Hang-Vu
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