Da Lat seeks 'urban heritage site' status
Da Lat City "has what it takes" to become an urban heritage site of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, experts have said.
|Da Lat Pedagody College, a unique architecture built in 1927 by the French. Photo dichoidalat.com|
Da Lat, known for its favourable weather, is often referred to as a “forest in the city and city in the forest”, “fog city” or "city of flowers”, according to Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
Da Lat has villas and public architectural works that are inspired by both Asian and European cultures, Le Quang Trung, director of Lam Dong Province's Department of Construction, said.
The style of architecture goes hand in hand with nature, with tourism spots that are different from those found in other cities, he added.
Deputy Chairman of Da Lat People’s Committee Vo Ngoc Trinh said that if it was not for the pine forest, great weather, distinguished architecture and friendly locals, Da Lat would not have gained so much love.
Authorities in the locality over the years have focused on developing the city while also preserving its cultural heritage, he said.
Trung noted that the Law on Cultural Heritage in 2001 only defines tangible cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage, but the concept of urban heritage site has not yet been clarified.
However, to preserve and promote the heritage value from a modern urban perspective, it is essential to have a specific policy when developing a heritage site such as Da Lat.
Three factors should be considered and preserved, including the climate and natural landscape, existing architectural works, and the culture and people, Trung said.
According to architect Tran Van Viet, the concept of an urban heritage site is not new, but it is difficult to pursue, considering that Vietnam has not yet had an urban heritage site.
“Maps from Dr Yersin’s (founder of Da Lat) era and urban planning from the French colonial period have to be collected in order to compile a thorough proposal about Da Lat before submitting it to the state for recognition of a cultural heritage fund," Viet said.
It is also important to conduct research and assess the value of existing architectural works in the area, among other tasks, he added. VNS
To reduce the population pressure on Da Lat, Lam Dong Province authorities should not expand it but build satellite areas around it, an architect has said.