Experts suggest safeguarding Old Quarter with special national site status

Friday, 2020-10-09 12:46:55
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Mid-Autumn Festival decorations in the Old Quarter
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NDO - Architects and culture researchers have suggested recognising Hanoi’s Old Quarter as a special national site in order to better protect the area, in which many old houses are in derelict condition and high population density is undermining the standard of living.

The proposal was made at a workshop held on October 8 by the Hoan Kiem District authorities in collaboration with the Thang Long Cultural Heritage Society and the Hanoi Urban Development and Planning Association on the occasion of the city’s 1010th anniversary.

The Old Quarter is an urban heritage with unique architecture, including streets of traditional crafts, and historical and cultural sites associated with the history of the Vietnamese capital.

It was already named a national historical site in 2004.

In recent years, Hoan Kiem District authorities have implemented various measures to protect and promote its value such as rehabilitating historical and cultural sites, raising public awareness on protecting heritage and renovating 44 streets.

The district has also worked on a project to restore 14 festivals in the Old Quarter, which has become a home to wide range of cultural events during occasions such as the Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Day.

However, many challenges remain in preserving the area due to the large number of valued old houses that are facing the risk of deformation and the quality of life being reduced by the population density.

In addition to upgrading its conservation status, experts also suggested that Hanoi should soon complete the planning for the Old Quarter and accelerate urban design for each street and even each house.

They also asked the city to provide good new housing to encourage local residents to move away from the Old Quarter.

* In another event to mark the city’s founding anniversary, Gia Lam District inaugurated a venue to exhibit products of the One Commune One Product (OCOP) programme in the ceramics village of Bat Trang.

Covering an area of 3,300 square metres, the space will feature Hanoi’s notable OCOP products such as ceramics and porcelain, rattan and bamboo furniture, silk, and other handicrafts.

In 2021 Hanoi is aiming to have 60-70 sites to introduce and sell OCOP products at supermarkets, shopping centres, train stations, airports, hotels, restaurants and places of attraction to form a distribution network for such products.