LAM DONG – (VNS) Vietnamese and French architects are co-operating on a master plan to restore and expand the central highlands city of Da Lat into an entity covering 3,300 sq.km.
|Da Lat City.—File Photo
The plan, which is presently being discussed in Paris, aims to preserve the unique style of the city laid down by colonial rulers 120 years ago.
But it means incorporating the surrounding districts of La Duong, Don Duong, Duc Truong and part of Ham La district.
The plan is being discussed at a workshop in Paris by Viet Nam's Ministry of Construction and the French Interscene Company, Lam Dong Province People's Committee and the Southern Urban Planning and Rural Institute.
Ministry deputy Phan Thi My Linh said Da Lat City, which is 1,500 metres above sea level, became a hill retreat and later a tourist destination based on its unique ecosystems, cool climate and European architecture.
The city, with its many pine trees, twisting roads, marigolds, and temperatures about 10 degrees cooler than on the plains, is also known as the "city of eternal spring".
Linh said the city was also a cultural, economic and political centre; a place for scientific and technical research; and the national training centre for agriculture and high technology.
Interscene Company's director Thierry Huau said the natural landscape and the urban environmental development had been taken into account.
Lam Dong People Committee's chairman, Nguyen Xuan Tien, said the development of Da Lat was a must, but his province wanted a sustainable, well preserved city.
Tien said the workshop had gathered opinions and ideas from scientists, managers, professionals and architects from Viet Nam, France, Belgium and Canada to complete the ministry's submission to Government.
The overall plan is expected to be released later this year to celebrate the 120th birthday of Da Lat and to mark the 40 years of diplomatic relations with France.
According to a forecast, Da Lat will soon have a population of 620,000-650,000 people (now it has 516,000 people). By 2030, the population is expected to rise to between 700,000 and 750,000 people.
The annual number of visitors to Da Lat is expected to reach five or six million in 2020 and nine or 10 million in 2030. – VNS