​Hanging garden in a small lane on Tran Binh Street (Photo: vietnamnet​.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) – On a hot, stuffy summer day, while passing a small lane in Hanoi, you will find a fresh green space with hanging flowers and ornamental plant pots.

Few people know that the special hanging garden in a small lane on Tran Binh Street in Cau Giay District has been built in an illegal dumping area, which existed on the street for 10 years.

The project was initiated by Dam Thanh Tung, a student from the Academy of Journalism and Communications.

The project was part of his duties while competing in an ideas contest for young people hosted by the VTV6 channel.

“The organisers decided to challenge me by giving me this place and asked me to transform it into a beautiful garden,” he recalled.

The materials used in the garden were mostly biological environment-friendly bricks and used plastic bottles contributed by the local residents.

“My aim is to increase people’s awareness on protecting the environment,” Tung said. “The old garbage dumping area has now been transformed into a beautiful garden, so no one will dare to dump garbage there anymore.”

Tung said his idea turned into reality thanks to the contributions made by many people.

“First, my team of 25 members contributed a lot,” he said. “I also received consultancy from an architect and financial aid from my friends, teachers and some others who were interested in the project. Local authorities also supported us a lot.”

Tung said it took only five days to complete the project, which was then handed over to the local authorities for management.

“The garden has become local property. So there is no one better than the local residents to take care of it,” he said.

Tung wants to make more gardens like this one throughout the city.

“Gardens cannot be copyrighted by anyone, so I hope similar projects will be undertaken throughout the city by the local communities,” he said.

Retiree Nguyen Thanh Nam, head of the local residential community, confirmed that the local authorities would make similar gardens in the area.

“Since the garden was built, the locals are taking great care of it,” he said, “Surrounding residents take turns to water the plants, add fertiliser and replant the dying ones.”

“Even street hawkers passing the area look after the garden. They inform us when they see someone picking flowers or stealing pots,” he said.

Mai Thanh Tam, a local official, said the authorities highly appreciated the project’s results.

“We will make more gardens like this one so that fresh flowers will grow on all streets in the area,” she said.

The model has spread to other districts. A dumping area in a small lane on Thai Ha Street, Dong Da District, has been also been transformed into a garden.

Local members of the youth union have initiated a garden project for various popular flowers to be grown in recycled plastic pots.

“I think it’s a good idea to protect the living environment in the city,” Le Bich Thao, who lives near the garden and often water the flowers, said.

Nguyen Huu Tien, General Director of the Hanoi Urban Environment Co Ltd, said the city has mobilised all individuals and agencies to ensure environmental hygiene.

The first and foremost thing is to increase people’s awareness through the motto: “Please, don’t throw rubbish on streets”.-VNA