Thu Hue, an office worker, who lives in Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh new urban area, said that she did not go out in the last May holiday. Hue and other members of the family stayed in a small room to avoid the sun and enjoy the fresh air from the air conditioner.
Hue has foreseen that she would have to pay much more for the electricity bill this month, but she still has to keep the air conditioner on, because no one can stand the heat at 40oC. Though Hue’s apartment is located on the top, she cannot enjoy the fresh wind because of the surrounded buildings which stop winds.
The multi-storey buildings and a little space for verdure are the biggest problems of many new urban areas in Hanoi. In the biggest new urban area developed by Vinaconex, the only playing field for children is a concrete ground in front of the 34-storey building. However, no parent lets their children play on the ground these days, while old people do not go downstairs to practice physical exercises.
Thousands of the local residents in the new urban area still cannot see a park with green trees and a swimming pool which they were promised.
Dao Tuan, a resident of the An Sinh residential quarter in Tu Liem district, complained that despite the green trees on the two sides of the road, he still suffers from the electricity cuts which are made regularly once or twice a week.
“I have received a notice about the electricity cut tomorrow, from 8 am to 6 pm. Luckily, I bring the child to the nursery school, or he would catch disease because of the terrible heat,” Tuan complained, adding that he is going to buy an electric rechargeable fan.
Meanwhile, Ngoc Hang, the owner of an apartment in Van Khe residential quarter in Ha Dong district, complained about the quality of water. She said that the building management board has to allow local residents to use the water from the fire-plug.
In fact, the residents of the quarter have never used clean water since they moved here. As a result, they have to buy bottled water for cooking, while the water provided here just can be used for having a wash.
Minh Hong, who lives in Dinh Cong residential quarter, feels satisfactory about the living environment here with fresh air and verdure, good services and infrastructure items. However, these facilities still cannot please her, who always gets stuck in the traffic jam.
Hong said that she cannot drive car to the office, though it is the best solution for the hot days, because of the traffic jam. She has to drive motorbike to the office, while it takes her 30 minutes to travel a short distance of 5 kilometers. As a result, she has to leave the house either before 7.30 am or after 8.30 am.
The dream about a green urban area
Nguyen Tan Van, Chair of the Vietnamese Architect Association, former Deputy Minister of Construction, said green urban areas and green architecture is a growing tendency in the world.
If one cannot prove that his construction work can save 30 percent of energy or more, he would not be able to implement the work. The principle was set up in 1925 in the US. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, scientists and management agencies are just encouraging green construction works.
Van said that Vietnamese people need to strive to a smart way of living, so that they can live in a harmonized and money saving environment which allows saving land, electricity and water. Thanh Dung