“Hoian Public Spaces (PS) Master Plan” is a 5 years strategy 2015 – 2020 for preservation and development PS in Hoian city, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Central Vietnam. The Plan intended to ensure the PS for Hoian’s dwellers within reasonable walking distance of 400m to 800m, which equal a five to ten minutes walk. The plan’s goal is to build PS network for Hoian Livable City.
Public spaces (PS) have played an important role in communities along history of urban development throughout the world. PS are green spaces for city dwellers to relax, recreate, doing their regular physical activities, meeting and interact with one another. PS within short distance from home are also encouraging people using active, healthy transportation modes such as walking or cycling to and from. PS is one of important elements of built environment of the city which directly effect to public health.
However, urbanization in Hoian, an ancient city in middle of Vietnam and a world heritage site by UNESCO, is making a pressure on PS. Population increased, land fund limited makes existing PS depressed both in number and serving distance. Several evidences and policies show that public spaces development in Hoian is considered by the City government here and there. City-wide parks and community house are planned for develop in policies such as Socio-economic Master Plans 2020, vision 2025, Eco-city development Strategy. Multiple parks and playgrounds are maintained and built recently… But seems the City’s efforts on public spaces issue is not concentrated enough and lack of strategic planning.
In 2012, HealthBridge Vietnam (HBV), a non-government organization working on livable cities movement, have implemented a campaign on public spaces in Hoian includes strategies such as evidences, media, pilots and advocacy. HBV conducted a research on Hoian PS situation and supported local partner and communities to build multiple playgrounds for children and neighbourhood parks with community engagement. Finally, after the advocacy workshop hold in September 2012, the Hoian government committed to mobilize resources to develop a Public Spaces Development Master Plan.
By January 2013, Hoian’s government decided to organize a Public Spaces City Team and mobilized resources to develop a five years plan for public spaces. The City Team is a group of leaders and professionals from City’s departments such as Urban Management Dept, Cultural – Communication Dept, Natural Resources and Environment Dept, Tourism and Trade Dept . The City Team has responsible for developing the Plan based on a two years action plan from August 2013 to Ausgust 2015 with technical support of HBV.
The plan is developing with a vision that: healthy and happy people living in Hoian with lots of fun and safe public spaces where dwellers and their neighbors feel closer to each other and belong to neighbourhoods. The ultimate outcomes of Hoian Public Master Plan 2015 – 2020 is: increased Hoian dweller’s participation in regular physical activities, social interactions and recreations at PS in the City, leading to better quality of life, improved health for Hoian people and enhanced image of Hoian livable city.
The purpose of the Master Plan is to provide direction for the future PS development of Hoian City to ensure that each of 120,000 Hoian’s dwellers will have at least one (1) square meter of neighbourhood PS within the distance of four hundreds (400) meters from home and then build Hoian a walkable city for people.
The Master Plan also includes a proposed yearly action plan, a yearly budget allocation and a monitoring & evaluation plan. All of above plans are in order to ensure the Hoian government and community’s efforts for PS from 2015 – 2020. At the moment, the City Team is working on the final steps of the Master Plan development. The final Plan with community’s contributions will be submitted to the Hoian city government for approval in autumn of 2015.