An overview of Hà Nội's Hai Bà Trưng District. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HÀ NỘI — Going back in time to October 10, 1954, thousands of local residents flocked to Hà Nội’s streets with flags and flowers to welcome and congratulate Vietnamese soldiers for taking over the capital from French troops. The victory opened a new glorious period in the history of Thăng Long-Đông Đô-Hà Nội.
From a war-torn city, Hà Nội has undergone major changes over the past 66 years, becoming a modern and dynamic city and the biggest political, socio-economic and cultural centre of Việt Nam, making contributions to the nation’s development while still preserving traditional historical and cultural identities.
One of the city’s biggest changes was the appearance of new skyscrapers, urban areas and construction of new transport projects, especially since Đổi mới (reform) in 1986 and administrative boundary expansions in 2008.
A street performance in downtown Hà Nội at the weekend. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng
A number of skyscrapers were built in every corner of the capital, like Keangnam Hanoi and Lotte Centre. Open and green space is the highlight in the urban design of the city.
Assessing the process of urban development in Hà Nội, director of the Department of Construction Võ Nguyên Phong said a series of projects had been approved to boost investment and improve the city.
Key infrastructure projects have been put into use as part of the city’s transport plan. Those include bridges like Thanh Trì, Nhật Tân and Vĩnh Tuy, as well as bridges to be opened like Tứ Liên and Trần Hưng Đạo, or many large roads which help improve traffic capacity.
New roads and flyovers were inaugurated to reduce traffic congestion, such as the expansion of Belt Road No 3 connecting Mai Dịch Area and Thăng Long Bridge, Ô Đông Mác-Nguyễn Khoái Flyover, Đại Cồ Việt-Trần Khát Chân Flyover and An Dương-Thanh Niên Road Flyover.
Mai Dịch-Nam Thăng Long Overpass located in Cầu Giấy and Tây Hồ districts will be open to traffic on October 10, 2020 to mark the 1010th anniversary of Thăng Long-Hà Nội and the city's 66th anniversary of liberation day. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
The inauguration of Nhật Tân Bridge, the country's largest cable-stayed bridge, the 12.1-km Võ Nguyên Giáp Avenue and the international terminal of Nội Bài Airport in January 2015 facilitated travel within the capital.
Vũ Văn Viện, director of the city’s Department of Transport, said those transport projects helped reduce traffic jams and increased the land fund allocated for transport. The land fund for the city’s transport projects increased from 8.65 per cent in 2015 to 9.75 per cent in 2019.
By the end of this year, 148 out of 214 transport projects in the 2016-20 plan are expected to be completed. Once those projects are put into use, the city will have more 498km of roads, he said.
In the future, the city will complete the construction of belt roads and urban railways, he added.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in May this year approved the establishment of Hòa Lạc urban satellite area which will be a centre of high-quality human resource training, national high-tech scientific research as well as a centre for national universities, colleges and medical facilities. This will also be an eco-resort, science-technology city as well as a green, smart, energy-saving urban area in the west of Hà Nội.
The target of covering the city with green space has been completed with one million trees planted on the streets, said director of the Department of Construction Võ Nguyên Phong.
100 per cent of urban households have access to clean water. All waste in urban areas, 90 per cent of waste in rural areas and 100 per cent of medical waste have been collected and treated following standards, Phong said regarding the goals of improving the lives of local residents.
The growth of the capital city has been demonstrated not only through infrastructure development but also the capital’s deep international integration.
Chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vũ Tiến Lộc said Hà Nội was on the front line of welcoming a new investment wave and reorienting the global supply chain strategy towards higher added value.
In the first nine months of 2020, Hà Nội attracted about US$3.28 billion of foreign investment, a remarkable result in the context of global investment decline due to COVID-19.
So far, the city has 6,278 foreign-invested projects, with capital of more than $47.7 billion and disbursement of more than $28.5 billion.
In the 2016-20 period, the city attracted $25 billion of foreign investment, becoming a bright spot on a national scale.
In two years of 2018 and 2019, Hà Nội led the country in terms of foreign investment attraction.
Local authorities have made efforts to improve the investment and business climate, shown through the city’s high ranking.
Hà Nội gained ninth position out of 63 localities in terms of 2018 and 2019’s Provincial Competitiveness Index and maintained the second ranking in three years 2017, 2018 and 2019 for the Public Administration Reform Index.
Chief Representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) Hà Nội Takeo Nakajima said about 41 per cent of Japanese companies were considering expanding their activities in Việt Nam in the next three years. This was useful information for the city to take advantage of its position in the top ten Provincial Competitiveness Index category in order to increase foreign investment.
According to the Department of Planning and Investment of Hà Nội, the city aims for $30-$40 billion of foreign investment capital in the 2021-25 period with disbursement of $20-$30 billion.
Hà Nội has formed relations with more than 100 capitals and cities around the world. The capital's people-to-people external relations activities in the past five years have contributed to strengthening exchanges and promoting understanding between the people of Hà Nội and people in many cities and countries around the world.
In 1999, Hà Nội was among five cities on five continents presented with the “City for Peace” award by UNESCO to recognise its contributions to the struggle for peace as well as its development that met the organisation’s standards of equality in the community, urban construction, living environment, culture and education promotion, and care for younger generations.
Twenty years later in 2019, Hà Nội became an official member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
Chief Representative of UNESCO in Việt Nam Michael Croft said during its development, Hà Nội had paid special attention to respecting the values of cultural heritage. By including Hà Nội in the Creative Cities Network, UNESCO in Việt Nam hopes to promote these values.
Ô Quan Chưởng - the former eastern entrance to the citadel - is preserved. —VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
“UNESCO wants Hà Nội to move from a creative city to a creative centre, then to the creative capital of Southeast Asia and Asia, on the basis of heritage, culture and peace, becoming a dynamic and creative city, pleasant to live in the 21st century,” he said.
According to Vương Đình Huệ, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, the city aims to become a green, smart and modern city by 2030 and a city worth living in by 2045.
“The city has promoted the initiative network with the aim of gathering local experts, scientists and Hà Nội lovers to contribute their ideas to build and develop the capital into a hub for creativity and a city worth living in,” he said. — VNS