Bad urban planning blamed for compounding heatwave in Hanoi

VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi is getting hotter during the summers and experts have blamed the situation on the city's bad planning that prioritises concrete structures instead of green spaces.  

Hanoi, getting hotter, air pollution, growing of trees

Temperature in Hanoi reaches over 40 degree Celsius in recent days.

Several scientists have said that Hanoi’s urban planning is much different from the initial plans, and has resulted in less green spaces and more concrete and asphalt-paved areas.

This is said to be a major cause for the capital city's heat problems.

Christiana Figureres, a leader of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently announced the shocking discovery that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.

There have been warnings about super hot spell in the future as the earth goes through a “new dangerous area”. As a result, in the next four decades, Europe and Asia are expected to experience severe hot spells, which could be ten times more severe than the record heatwave in 2003, which caused thousands of fatalities.

Despite the warnings, Hanoi's urban planning does not seem to take this into proper consideration.

“It seems that Hanoi continues to ignore the factor of climate change in its planning and has diverged from the original intent to create more urban green areas," said Dr. Nguyen Huu Ninh, a climate change expert.

“The paving over of the city and the heavy use of glass in structures have increased absorbency of heat. This creates a 100 metre heat layer surrounding the city," Ninh explained.

A large number of high buildings have been built in the capital city at the expense of green spaces, preventing atmosphere circulation and worsening air pollution, he added.

Hanoi’s chairman, Nguyen The Thao, said at a recent meeting to discuss the city’s planning for green spaces, that the rate of green space in the city, especially in outlying districts remains modest and uneven.

Several experts have proposed allocating more land fund for growing trees, but many still wonder about the feasibility implementing such a plan.

Do Ngoc Hoang, Director of Hanoi Greenery Park Company, said, “The number of large trees in nine inner-city districts is rather modest, estimated at around 45,000, mainly in Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung and Dong Da.”

Population density in some major districts is also high, causing low per capita area of only from 26-31 square metres, Hoang assessed.

He said that many roads have narrow sidewalks that prevent the creation of new green spaces and the growing of trees.

The disorder of the electrical wires throughout the city also hinders the growth of trees, he added.

As part of the effort to ensure the health of students during the hot summer, the municipal Department of Education and Training has asked that measures be taken to adapt to the heat.

Source: DTriNews

Hanoi, getting hotter, air pollution, growing of trees