Hanoi promotes creative space initiatives hinh anh 1A creative space in Phuc Tan ward of Hoan Kiem district. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The capital city of Hanoi is promoting creative space initiatives, as part of its commitment as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). 

In early September, the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, the Architecture Magazine and units concerned announced 18 top ideas selected from 93 entries to the “Designing Hanoi Creative Space” contest. The success of the contest showed that the city is facing a great opportunity to form its new characteristics from the development of creative spaces. 

Among the outstanding ideas from the contest, the “Red River Artistic District” by architect Doan Ky Thanh and collaborators won applause for its uniqueness and breakthrough creativity. The project wants to transform the 5-ha alluvial area in Phuc Tan ward, Hoan Kiem district into a green artistic space. It also proposes planning and architectural solutions to realise the goal.

Meanwhile, based on a plan to move industrial facilities out of urban areas, a group of architects gave birth to a so-called 4.0 railway district at the old Gia Lam train factory. They want to turn the old industrial estate into a hub to connect tech start-ups as well as link them with consumers, students, investors and tourists. 

The project “Hanoi Artistic Path” by the Avant Architectural Investment and Consulting JSC and Arb Vietnam Co.Ltd and the project “Hanoi – Thousands-year-old city” by Nguyen Van Tu and Nguyen Thanh Duc also won high praise.  

According to experts, when building creative space projects, characteristics and core values of converted sites are maintained while new factors are added to bring a breath of fresh air to them. 

Phan Dang Son, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, said all awarded projects are highly feasible in design, and some of them could be built immediately. Following the contest, the board of juries are ready to discuss with authors and Hanoi authorities to embark on the works when conditions allow.

Hanoi now has over 60 creative spaces focusing on culture, arts, architecture, design and handicrafts which operate freely but most of them are of a small scale.

Roughly two years since its accession to UCCN, Hanoi has engaged in a plethora of creative ideas to realise its ambition of becoming a capital of design and innovation in Southeast Asia, one of which is the contest “Designing Hanoi Creative Space” .

Held between May 2020 and July 20, 2021, the contest aimed to encourage ideas and solutions to renovate creative spaces destined to evolve into popular tourist destinations and wonderful entertainment hubs in Hanoi.

It took place in the context that Hanoi is in dire need of more public spaces, while 92 polluting factories in the capital city are left vacant after being relocated. Given the small land area of Hanoi, transforming old factories into creative spaces is expected to improve local residents’ living environment.

Hanoi used to be a thriving ancient city built by the Vietnamese people a long time ago. The city was built on the fertile alluvial land along the Red River, which gives rise to a high concentration of population along the river bank.

Having been the residential area of many people for generations, Hanoi is considered the economic and cultural centre of the whole Northern Delta region in the modern day. 

According to the 2021-2025 master plan approved by the government, Hanoi will have a core area, with 30 percent of which to be urbanised while the rest will be allocated to green and ecological space.

Along with that, Hanoi will also consider opening more pedestrian spaces, holding more cultural and artistic activities to improve the spiritual life as well as promote and inspire more creativity in the community in the future./.