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High-rise residents decry lack of public space

Four 40-45 story apartment buildings in Kim Van–Kim Lu New Urban Area in Hoang Mai District are home to about 16,000 people.

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Cars and motorbikes are parked illegally on sidewalks and roads, ignoring the "No Parking" sign in Dai Thanh Urban Area in Hanoi. 

Their basements are said to be too small to handle all the residents’ vehicles. As a result, the small yard that is sandwiched between the buildings is used as a parking lot illegally.

Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Dung, head of Police Station of Dai Kim Ward, Hoang Mai District, said that police usually cracked down on the parking violations, but they reappear whenever police concluded a round of inspections.

The building management boards seemingly ignore the violations, Dung said.

Trung Hoa-Nhan Chinh New Urban Area in Thanh Xuan District consists of 19 high-rise buildings, but no official markets or parking lots are planned to be built there.

As a result, street markets have appeared, encroaching on roads, pavements and public gardens. People have no place to park their motorbikes but on the road.

Nguyen Duy Linh, chairman of Nhan Chinh Ward People’s Committee, said that local authorities asked the housing investor – Ha Noi Housing Development and Management Ltd Company – to co-operate in curbing street violations and illegal parking.

However, few changes were made, Linh said.

When police arrived, violators, including food stall owners or sellers at the street markets, usually ran away or hid in the first floor of the apartment buildings.

Linh said that the local authorities planned to move the street markets to the public space sandwiched between the N2D and N2E buildings, but local residents opposed the move.

Residents in CT1A1 and CT1A2 apartment building in Tay Nam Linh Dam New Urban Area have also complained in the last few months that their public spaces between the two buildings were used for parking, the Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper reported.

Encroachment on public space, roads and pavements by businesses and parked motorbikes have been reported in cities across the nation.

Measures have been implemented to curb problems, but the issues remain.

Tran Ngoc Chinh, chairman of Viet Nam Urban Development and Planning Association, said that public space including playing grounds and gardens in apartment complexes receive little investment by designers and management boards. Often, they’re encroached upon for other purposes.

Chinh said that developers often highlighted public space facilities including play grounds or green space to attract home buyers. But the advertisements are frequently false: many house buyers are soon disappointed to see public space used for business and parking, Chinh said.

Dr Ly Van Vinh from the Viet Nam Institute of Architecture told the Xay Dung (Construction) newspaper that Vietnam learned and applied apartment building models from Western countries beginning in the 1960s and now they have become very popular in the country.

High rise apartment buildings are developing like mushrooms in big cities in Vietnam.

Vinh said that many apartment building projects broke rules in planning because developers or designers seemingly care only about maximising profits.

A lack of basement space for parking and little public space are among the common planning errors, Vinh said.

Source: VietNamNet

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