By Xuan Quynh – Translated by Kim Khanh
Da nang city center
Tran Thanh Tam, director of the Da Nang Department of Planning and Investment, on Saturday added that the Vo Van Kiet Avenue axis in Son Tra District, connecting Da Nang International Airport to My Khe Beach (Dragon Bridge to Vo Nguyen Giap Street), is earmarked for the development.
“Currently, there are many investors interested in such a project. The city needs to propose many mechanisms, policies and get government approval,” she said.
The project to turn Da Nang into a regional finance center is in line with a resolution of Politburo, the Party’s decision-making body, on the construction and development of Da Nang until 2030, with a vision to 2045.
On March 15, the government approved an amended master plan for Da Nang until 2030, with a vision to 2045. Accordingly, Da Nang is a “class-1” urban region under the government management and a big economic center of the country in terms of tourism, industry, trade, banking services, etc.
Da Nang will build international and national-level trade centers, commercial and financial routes, a non-tariff zone located in an urban complex, aiming to become one of the major socio-economic centers of the country and Southeast Asia.
In the master plan for Da Nang until 2030, with a vision to 2045, the “living museum” would cover an 11-hectare urban patch of Hai Chau District.
It would include some residential areas along Hung Vuong, Phan Chau Trinh, Hoang Dieu, Ngo Gia Tu, Tran Binh Trong, Trieu Nu Vuong and Le Dinh Duong streets, and maze-like alleys, with Hai Chau Communal House at its center.
Hai Chau Communal House in Hai Chau District, Da Nang City, central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Hai Chau Communal House was the site where residents of Hai Chau Village, Tinh Gia District, central Thanh Hoa Province established a new settlement in the late 15th century. Most residents in the area are hairdressers (one located within an old French villa), coffee sellers, mechanics, seamsters, and food vendors.
Explaining the idea of a “living museum”, Phung Phu Phong, deputy director of Da Nang Construction Department, said since urbanization leaves many neighborhoods looking exactly the same, the city’s Singaporean consultant proposed to preserve certain unique cultural elements of the city.
Phong said the “living museums” includes old urban areas with distinguished local lifestyles, a concept familiar to those of many European and Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
Vo Thi Thu Van, 58, a coffee maker at the shop at 79 Hoang Dieu Street, a French villa built in 1911, was happy when she heard the city would keep this urban area intact.
“The shop only operates on the front porch and sidewalk of the house, about 40 square meters, but is always crowded since many people want to sit under the Bougainvillea tree. My family lives inside. We have been in operation for many years,” she said.
Over the past 100 years, the villa has only had its tiles changed and an iron roof installed for customers to sit under. The cafe opened after national reunification in 1975.
Born and raised on Hoang Dieu Street, Van remembers the area had formerly been smaller. Many homes built here over the years were clad in washed stones, creating a unique aesthetic.
However, as property prices and rental costs have soared along with rapid urbanization, many residents have hired out their premises for commercial purposes.
The coffee shop at 79 Hoang Dieu Street, Da Nang. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Phong said Da Nang would limit the construction of tall buildings in this “living museum” to avoid breaking the landscape and help maintain the traditional local lifestyle.
Hai Chau Communal House would also be expanded while more trees are planted and the sidewalks resurfaced.
Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien, director of the Da Nang Museum, said the idea of a “living museum” would help create a modern urban area bearing an inheritance from past, present and future.
According to Thien, aside from Hai Chau Communal House, other attractions include the Cathedral Church of Da Nang, French Town Hall, a Cham sculpture museum, Dien Hai Citadel, alongside Han and Con markets.
“These are the heritage marks of over 100 years, a unique ‘living museum’ at the heart of the city,” Thien added.
Truong Hong Hanh, director of Da Nang Tourism Department, said the Han River art lighting project is expected to commence within the next three months.
The river lighting system would be installed on the Thuan Phuoc, Han, Dragon, Tran Thi Ly and Nguyen Van Troi bridges, as well as both banks and the water surface, she told a seminar on tourism recovery and development Thursday.
Nguyen Van Quang, secretary of Da Nang Party Committee, said the lights for bridges and the riverside areas, including buildings, should be synchronized.
In future, all newly constructed buildings along the Han River would be required to install a lighting rig.
The secretary added Da Nang is planning to work with reputable investors to refurbish the entire Han River landscape. In particular, the city prioritizes the development of a number of infrastructures like Bach Dang pedestrian street and Nguyen Van Troi pedestrian bridge.
“An investor currently wants to introduce boat services on the river. The city will ask the investor to hold a boat race this June. Vessels will carry the names of districts and attractions of Da Nang for promotion,” Quang said.
Han River is about seven kilometers long, flowing through Da Nang into the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.
The entire Son Tra region, adjacent to the river, along with the section adjacent to the sea have been left idle. Along the Han River, there is no crossing along the five kilometer distance from the estuary to Tran Thi Ly Bridge.
In 1997, Da Nang authorities started the construction of Han Bridge, connecting the city center on the west bank (Hai Chau District) with the east bank (Son Tra District). It is the only rotating bridge in Vietnam and has boosted the city’s appearance.
Years later, Da Nang built a series of bridges across the Han River.
The HCMC Department of Health has requested a list of reporters participating in the Covid-19 fight for vaccination, local media reported.
Nguyen Thi Phuong, deputy director of the Da Nang Department of Information and Communications, on Wednesday said the department has requested news agencies in the city to provide lists of reporters who work directly inside areas with a high risk of Covid-19 infection to be vaccinated.
Journalists are listed among frontline workers in the Covid-19 fight in Vietnam, alongside people working in quarantine zones and members of committees for Covid-19 prevention and control. This means they are among those prioritized to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health.
HCMC is set to receive around 56,000 additional Covid-19 vaccine doses produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, prioritized for medical workers, airport personnel and frontline workers, and also to give certain people their second vaccine shots, according to the municipal health department. So far, over 7,800 city residents have received their first jabs, according to the HCMC Center for Disease Control.
Da Nang plans to vaccinate over 46,000 citizens by the third quarter, according to the municipal People’s Committee.
Vietnam has inoculated over 62,000 people so far with the AstraZeneca vaccine. It aims to secure 150 million doses to cover 70 percent of its population by next year.
Mary Tarnowka, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Amcham), affirmed that the June 2020 establishment of AmCham Da Nang Office will serve to encourage more businesses from the US to invest in the central city, with priority areas including services, high technology, and information technology.
The new office is expected to serve as a bridge that can connect global US enterprises to the central region’s economic-tourism hub. This factor will also provide a solid foundation for the future establishment of the US consulate’s office in the city.
As of 2019, more than 20 businesses from Da Nang have set up trade ties with their US counterparts to develop 56 projects valued at US$589 million. Many of the US firms have operated for several years in the central city and are striving to expand their operations to maintain their sustainable investment schemes in the locality.
Most notably, as one of AmCham’s closest members, Coca-Cola has made efforts to upgrade its factory in Da Nang, with a total investment of US$5 million made in 2017, which has therefore contributed to generating hundreds of jobs for local workers and providing a boost for the region’s economy.
Furthermore, the upgrade of a local wastewater treatment system with modern membrane filtration (MBR) technology has also allowed wastewater to reach level A, thereby exceeding existing standards.
US businesses have also engaged in a range of social activities, including presenting the Da Nang Department of Health with medical supplies worth VND500 million.
During the initial phase of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, Coca-Cola also co-operated with the Vietnam Red Cross Society to donate approximately VND900 million to COVID-19 prevention activities in Da Nang. This was part of a wider VND7.2 billion support package aimed at providing assistance for medical workers, doctors, and health centres in the region.
The firm has also prioritised community support activities by establishing the Community Support Center (EKOCENTER) in order to provide an ideal venue in which to organise training courses for start-ups. Indeed, the centre currently uses solar energy to maintain its operations while purifying 6,000 litres of clean water per day.
Other actions include Coca-Cola launching the “Clean drinking water in schools” project which will run from 2018 to 2022, with the company handing over 12 drinking water purification systems to schools throughout Da Nang since the launch of the scheme.