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Vietnam lacks green spaces, suburbs expand to fill need

Last update: 07:50 | 07/02/2018

VietNamNet Bridge - The face of urban areas is expected to see big changes in the future as Vietnamese consumers want more green spaces. 


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Hanoi needs a proper tree planning scheme




Ngoc, for example, spent VND2.5 billion to buy a house in Hanoi three years ago that was only 20 square meters in size because it was located near the central area and was affordable.


It takes only several minutes to get to Hoan Kiem Lake, and it is near schools, hospitals, shops and modern facilities.

But Ngoc and his family members made sacrifices. The house is dark with no light reaching its rooms. It is located in an alley which is so small that two motorbikes cannot travel on it at the same time. 

After three years, Ngoc got fed up with the house. “We have to walk a long distance to get out of the small alley and reach the street. It is terrible if we have to walk in the rain,” he complained.

The rate of greenery per person is 2-3 square meters in Vietnam’s cities, lower than the minimum rate of 10 square meters per head set by the UN. 

“We always feel as if we lack air to breathe because the house is too small and it is surrounded by so many other houses,” he said.

He wants to sell the house and buy another one, and does not care if the new house is in the suburbs. But it must be airy and large.

Ngoc is not alone. Most urbanites want to live in houses near the central area but there are problems they have to face, especially lack of green space.

The rate of trees and plants of 163 per person in Vietnam is the second lowest in Southeast Asia.

According to the Ministry of Construction (MOC), the rate of greenery per person is 2-3 square meters in Vietnam’s cities, lower than the minimum rate of 10 square meters per head set by the UN. 

In modern cities, the required rate is 20-25 square meters of greenery per head.

Vietnam is facing numerous challenges caused by rapid urbanization, leaving burdens on its technical and social infrastructure and leading to many severe consequences.

There are a total of 800 urban areas across Vietnam with a current urbanization percentage of around 37 percent. This figure is expected to increase by 50 percent by 2025.

Nguyen Nguyen Cuong, director of the Centre for Education, Communication and Environment  said Hanoi recently has paid more attention to making the city greener by growing more trees, but it needs a proper tree planning scheme.
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