A resettlement plan that will relocate more than 1,500 households in Hoan Kiem's Old Quarter to the Viet Hung Urban Area is expected to kick off this month.

The move follows a decision made last week by the Deputy Chairman of the city's People's Committee, Nguyen Van Khoi, who urged investments be completed by the end of the year.

The new 11.12-ha Viet Hung Urban Area in Long Bien District will see the construction of 16 new residential buildings, a complex and public facilities. Construction is scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2017 and is estimated to cost upwards of 4.9 trillion VND (233 million USD).

Deputy Chairman of the district's People's Committee Lam Quoc Hung said the project was the first phase of a master plan which will move up to 6,550 households and 26,200 residents from the Old Quarter.

He said the move aimed to reduce high population density in the Old Quarter, address degraded living conditions and preserve heritage sites.

Current population density of the Old Quarter has reached 823 persons per hectare, well in excess of the 2020 target of 500 persons per hectare.

Hoang Cong Khoi, secretary of the district's Party Committee, said the unprecedented plan would require further research to develop investment and compensation mechanisms and deliver equitable outcomes for residents.

Khoi said the first phase of the plan was scheduled for completion by the end of 2016 and that families living in heritage buildings, including old temples, schools and state offices will be relocated first.

The second phase of the master plan, which will move more than 5,000 households, will be completed between 2017 and 2020.-VNA