Lê Văn Lân
Architect Lê Văn Lân, Vice President of the Hà Nội Architects’ Association, speaks to the newspaper Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs) about the importance of already approved construction projects.
Do you know why many construction projects have been asked to adjust their plans after approval?
Making changes to approved private or public projects is normal in our country.
However, more recently, some changes have been rather irrational. In some cases, more stories have been added onto the officially approved building master plans, while in other cases quite a few additional tall buildings have been added to a previously approved master plan.
I don’t object to changes to approved plans, but they must be in line with the national construction standards.
That is the "hard core" planning that must be upheld, while "soft core" planning can be adjusted as long as the changes are in harmony with the plan. In my opinion, the best solution is to improve the quality of planning activities and to minimise non-essential changes.
Would you please elaborate on your suggestion?
You know, a good plan must have a long-term vision, in both the “soft” and “hard" parts.
The “hard part” is the technical infrastructure and the physical space for socio-economic activities and for environmental protection.
And the “soft part” is the awareness, the knowledge, the culture, the State management and the people’s power. These two concepts should be harmonised to ensure the quality of life for all residents.
However, these concepts are not very clear in our planning activities. They are a bit murky. The mismatch between the “hard part” and the “soft part” has led to unhealthy or unsustainable development in new urban areas.
What are authorities’ responsibilities in collecting the general public’s comments or suggestions for urban development plans in their localities?
Under the 2014 Construction Law, during the formulation of detailed construction master plans, opinions must be obtained from concerned organizations and individuals.
However, not all project owners consult with the organizations/individuals concerned about construction work they are planning.
Any adjustment to a project which has been approved will undoubtedly affect surrounding residential areas. That’s why it is vital to conduct a sociological survey to gather comments or suggestions from individuals or organisations which might be affected. — VNS