HCM city's Department of Planning and Architecture has drafted a plan to improve the appearance of areas bordering the city's three most significant roads, and make them safer for mortorists and pedestrians.

To achieve this, more public facilities will be built and trees planted along the three roads, Vo Van Kiet Avenue , Tan Son Nhat–Binh Loi Road and Hanoi Highway .

According to Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Architecture's Centre for Architecture Research, the 24-kilometre Vo Van Kiet Avenue traverses four residential areas, including the new Thu Thiem residential area in District 2, the financial-centre in District 1, Chinatown in District 5 and the river and canal areas in districts 6 and 8.

Under the plan, the new Thu Thiem residential area will contain modern high-rise buildings. District 1 will keep older French-style buildings that represent the old Sai Gon, and any proposal for new buildings will be reviewed so they complement the French architecture.

The proposal also calls for the development of districts 5, 6 and 8 as a hub for trading activities, and envisions the Tau Hu–Ben Nghe Canal , which runs along Vo Van Kiet Avenue , as a floating market for trade and tourism activities.

Under the plan, the 19-km Hanoi Highway , which is one of the most important gateways to HCM City from other provinces, will be improved.

Huynh Xuan Thu, director of the department's HCM City Planning Information Centre, said that Hanoi Highway receives a great number of vehicles every day, which has caused problems to people living along the road.

A safe distance between the road and residential areas along the highway must be maintained so that residents can access transport and feel safe.

To ensure safety and retain the landscape, pavements, overpasses and other public facilities must be carefully designed and built, Thu said.

Under the proposal, the 15.33-km Tan Son Nhat – Binh Loi Road , which links the Tan Son Nhat Airport to gateways in the northeastern part of the city, will be upgraded into a modern urban residential area.

Currently, the road goes through poorly-built residential areas in Go Vap and Binh Thanh districts. "These areas need upgrading as soon as possible," Thu said.

The city's urban plan also calls for the removal of polluting factories along Hanoi Highway to other rural areas.-VNA