Culture Culture

09/12/2019 - 08:18

“Material” for the set of criteria for a heritage city

The Political Bureau has just enacted a new resolution about building and developing Thua Thien Hue into a municipality of culture, heritage, ecology, landscape and environment-friendliness.

In order to build a proper set of criteria, the Provincial People’s Committee has just organized a conference to consult experts, researchers, journalists, etc. Thua Thien-Hue Weekly is honored to review their wholehearted thoughts.

Nguyen Xuan Hoa, culture researcher

This is a historic impetus.

Used to be the imperial capital of the country, Thua Thien Hue owns a diverse system of tangible heritage such as the Citadel, palaces, royal tombs, temples, phu de (residences especially built for grown-up princes and princesses), communal houses, pagodas, etc., and intangible heritage such as court music, tuong (classical drama), royal dancing, cuisine, royal costume, Hue Singing and unique royal and folk festivals.

This is a strength which needs to be emphasized and highlighted. It is necessary to propose in the criteria the item about traditional arts because it is very important, typical and unique to Thua Thien Hue.

Nguyen Xuan Hoa, culture researcher

The biggest problem at the moment is urban economy. The per capita income and budget, (and budget distribution) in Thua Thien Hue are not high though they have been improved in recent years.

Therefore, the measures for preserving and developing the heritage of Thua Thien Hue need to include improving living standards and creating jobs for people, especially ones concerning service economy and tourist and cultural services. The fact that Thua Thien Hue becomes a municipality will be an important impetus for it to enter a new developmental stage.

Le Van Minh Tu, journalist (Youth Newspaper):

Villages as important heritage

We have talked a lot about architectural heritage, landscape heritage, intangible cultural heritage, but Hue has another type of heritage; that is village heritage.

Phu Xuan citadel was built on land of Phu Xuan Village. Before becoming a city, it used to be a village. I think we should include village heritage.

Thua Thien Hue has a very diverse system of villages. In the mountains there are mountainous villages. Midland region has hilly villages. Besides, there are plain villages, lagoon villages, relic villages, etc.

Le Van Minh Tu, journalist

In the process of urban development, the owners of beautiful villages in the outskirts of the city wonder if their places will still be beautiful when they become cities. Therefore, I think, in the set of criteria, we should pay attention to village heritage too.

If so, when designing, planning, and constructing urban areas, I propose we should preserve these villages. It will be a pity if, in the process of urbanization, people cut down bamboos or replace green hedges with concrete walls.

Prof. Dr. Tran Huu Dang, President of the Provincial Union of Science and Technology Associations

Heritage must be profitable

Besides the project of enlarging the city of Hue, it is important to preserve and promote the heritage at risk. Hue possesses the heritage recognized by UNESCO, but we must bring it to our contemporary life. 

Why has not yet Hue University opened a department of Hue studies? Many people value Hue as a place that preserves many quintessential cultural values of Vietnamese people. How this invaluable property is conserved and promoted is an issue which needs urgent solutions. 

Prof. Dr. Tran Huu Dang

In order for Hue to develop the cultural tourism, which is a unique strength, I propose to the provincial leaders building a place to worship and display documents about around 100 famous people from Hue who have contributed a lot to Hue and the country. Activities should be organized for people to “meet” those famous people of the past. 

We can organize meetings with many well-known people who had contributed to making Hue famous and who were from Hue and did so to other regions in the country. In this way, Hue will attract a significant number of cultural tourists. Beside conserving the cultural heritage of Hue, we should make it profitable for the people too.

Dr. Ngo Viet Nam Son, architect and urban planning expert

Stressing marine economy and building impetus cities.

This is the right time for us to talk about this. In my opinion, Thua Thien Hue is having right orientation and positive thinking. The city is planned to be extended with a focus on the unique cultural heritage. 

Dr. Ngo Viet Nam Son, architect

Given the current situation of Thua Thien Hue, I would like to make a few suggestions. Hue needs to stress marine economy. The heritage alone is not enough for Thua Thien-Hue to contribute to the budget. Hue has a strength about marine economy. Money lies in that strength.

One of the ways to boost the local economic potential is developing the twin cities of Hue and Da Nang. The two cities should stand side by side to become the core of Central Vietnam.

In my opinion, here are some issues to which Thua Thien Hue leaders need to pay attention in the coming time. Firstly, request incentive policies and priority policies on budget and infrastructure, including infrastructure that connects neighboring areas. Secondly, request the adjustment of the criteria for cities class 1 and municipalities, which the province is doing, with an emphasis on special characteristics about heritage and forming twin cities in the economic zone. Thirdly, make sure about the harmony of developing and conserving traditional values. Finally, plan and carry out the plan at principal areas with an emphasis on marine economy and impetus cities.

Thu Thuy (noted), Photos: Huu Phuc