The Hanoitimes - The Hanoi People’s Committee is working out regulations to ensure order and safety in the walking areas around the Sword Lake. Currently, the city has assigned the draft of regulations and collecting people’s feedback to the Hoan Kiem People’s Committee .
The first article of the draft of regulations stated that no organization or individual are allowed to perform any cultural, artistic and sports activities, games or magic shows without license. The use of radios, drums or loudspeakers is forbidden. The organizations and individuals, if wanting to organize any activity, have to obtain written permits from responsible agencies and comply to regulations.
After the incident between the 15-year-old boy playing violin and security staff in the walking street last week, the draft of regulations stated that some kinds of performance would not need written permission but has to be reported to the authority for authorization.
Architect Tran Huy Anh from the Vietnam Association of Architects supported this policy, because too much freedom of performance will negatively affect the walking streets.
Foreign tourists on the walking street near Hoan Kiem Lake.
Architect on urban planning Nguyen Nga also shared the same opinion. “The registration for performance is to let the management agencies know where musical groups are performing, avoiding “cultural” shows which run against Vietnamese traditional values. The responsible agencies are reasonable in this matter.”
In addition, the regulations on the walking areas around Hoan Kiem lake forbid the release of livestock and poultry on the street and other public areas. Activities such as street vending, catering, game trading, shoe polishing, pestering tourists to buy products, asking for money in any form are strictly prohibited.
Supporting the idea of cultural environment, but architect Tran Huy Anh was concerned about the extent of prohibition because it should not restrict creativity, especially spontaneous individual or organizational street performances . Anh said the cultural environment of the walking streets around Hoan Kiem lake represents the capital and the country’s culture, as well as the place for cultural exchange between Vietnamese and international friends. After one year on trial, cultural activities at every weekend are not only traditional folk music performances such as Xam, Ca Tru, which are intangible cultural values of Hanoi, but also cultural and artistic performances from other provinces such as Lao Cai, Quang Binh. Especially, the open air concert “Vietnam Airlines Classic – Hanoi 2017” in the walking street with the participation of one of the world’s most prestigious orchestra - the London Symphony Orchestra was a wonderful intellectual present for passionate music lovers and cultural enthusiasts.
However, Professor Kim Donyun (Korea) said: ”For a long time, the Old Quarter and the walking streets have too many different activities and lack of a clear development strategy. On the bright side, there are diversified cultural activities on both day and night, but on the down side, it will cause a kind of cultural or noise pollution”. Therefore, it is necessary for Hanoi to have a regulation and policies on the walking streets. Hanoi need to have a long term plan for the walking street, which may be opened not only on the weekends, but also in weekdays.
Architect Doan Ky Thanh – founder of Hanoi Creativity City highly regards regulation requesting businesses on the walking streets a to use only natural white lighting system with color temperature from 4000-5000oK (the higher the Degrees Kelvin, the whiter the color temperature). However, the regulation does not mention requirements on sound volume, so that it will not cause inconvenience for people living nearby.
Ngoc Thuy - Linh Anh