Monday , October 14 2019
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Becoming pedestrian friendly: HCMC seeks to walk the talk

The HCMC’s planning department wants to make the city’s financial and commercial center a lively shopping area.

People hang around Nguyen Hue walking street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City at night.
People hang around Nguyen Hue walking street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City at night.

The Department of Architecture and Planning submitted a proposal to the administration Tuesday based on the city’s approved urban plans.

The middle portion of Le Loi Street, Nguyen Hue Street, which already has a pedestrians-only stretch down its middle, the Opera House park, and the Ben Thanh Market walking square will provide an unbroken stretch of walking space in the downtown area with lots of attractions.

The department noted that assiduous landscape research is required because the Nguyen Hue – Le Loi intersection would become a key crossroad since it lies at a confluence of rapidly rising constructions, malls and other commercial activities.

Also passing below Le Loi will be the first metro route, whose construction is ongoing now. The Le Loi Street section will be handed back to the city by the Management of Urban Railway next year.

Architectural landscape design: it takes two to tango

In the first phase, landscape design will revolve around the Opera House Park while identifying functional areas and adding greenery.

The department has suggested installing a water fountain and building a flower garden near one intersection, adding it should be embellished with intricate architectural details. Elements of light, sound and color are also important, it said.

Phase 2 will see the completion of the design of the Le Loi Street section.

The department will continue to assess the public space and the incorporation of underground and shopping spaces into it.

According to the department, the walking section of Nguyen Hue suffers from intense thermal radiation and lacks sufficient open spaces for additional commercial activities.

Visitors are also not as attracted to its greenery, public facilities and decorations as expected, it said.