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A degraded house of Tran Thi Dzung, of Alley No 61, Cua Dong Street, Hoan Kiem District. —VNA/VNS Photo Trung Nguyen

Bach said three generations of his family had lived in the nearly-20sq.m house in the alley for many years.

In total, 15 people from three households live in the alley and have to share one toilet, he added.

“It’s very inconvenient,” he said.

Whenever guests visited his house, he had to take them to a coffee shop nearby because his house was too small and degraded, he added.

Bach said he always dreamed about having a bigger house.

“However, what I worry about the most is what to do to earn a living after moving to a new place,” he said.

Currently, his family makes an income from their pho (beef noodle soup) shop near the alley with many familiar customers, he said.

Similarly to Bach, Tran Thi Dzung, of Alley No 61, Cua Dong Street, Hoan Kiem District, said she had lived in a nearly-20sq.m house deep in the alley for 15 years.

Her house was really degraded with many cracks in the walls, she said.

“The heat of summer often turns the house into a sauna while the rains cause the house to have many leaks,” she added.

Dzung had to use pots and pans to catch the water from the leaks, she said, adding that the attic floor was always covered with a plastic layer to avoid water seeping through the partitions.

Another resident living in Trung Yen Alley, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District, said she and her neighbours expected that the plan would bring positive changes to people in the Old Quarter.


People looked forward to the plan’s solutions, creating opportunities for people to do business and earn a living after they moved to a new place, she said.

More than 215,000 people living in four inner districts of Hanoi are set to be relocated under an urban planning project which aims to decrease population density and upgrade infrastructure.

The city administration on Monday morning published maps detailing six urban planning zones in Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da and Hai Ba Trung districts, designed by the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture, covering an area of more than 2,700ha.

The plan hopes to reduce the population in the four districts from the current 887,000 to 672,000 by 2030.

The city’s plans to relocate residents from now until 2030 for land clearance and road expansion, while also relocating industrial parks, hospitals and headquarters of ministries and agencies out of the four districts to have space for public infrastructure and green space.

According to the maps, Hoan Kiem Lake and neighbouring areas have been identified as the capital’s famous scenic area and will act as a cultural, administrative, commercial, service, tourism centre combined with housing and community buildings for historical, cultural and religious activities.

The old streets will be the location of historical, cultural, religious relics, villas, houses, offices, commercial, financial, cultural, medical services and other community works.

Pham Tuan Long, Chairman of the People's Committee of Hoan Kiem District, said most of the houses in the district’s Old Quarter were quite degraded and the facilities and living conditions were inconvenient.

Today, demand for bigger houses was higher than in the past and many people wanted to move to a larger and more comfortable house, he said.

Therefore, the city’s administration carefully calculated to move which households with the purpose towards all people to enjoy the most favourable conditions, he said.

“The Old Quarter now needs to promote the value of heritage, tourism and trade,” he said.  


How will Hanoi relocate 215,000 people in four inner city districts?

How will Hanoi relocate 215,000 people in four inner city districts?

In the near future, the population of Hoan Kiem district will be 100,000, Ba Dinh district 160,000, Dong Da district 255,000, and Hai Ba Trung district 157,000, according to urban planning for the four inner districts released on March 23.

Old Quarter relocation plan yet to begin after two decades

Old Quarter relocation plan yet to begin after two decades

Nguyen Dinh Hai's life in a small house on Hang Bac Street in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District isn't easy at all.