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Hue facing new development opportunities

TTH.VN - As a land with historical traditions and cultural depth dating back many centuries, Hue is an important political, economic, cultural and artistic center of the country, and has now expanded its area four times, from 70.67 km2 to 265.99 km2, with 29 wards and 7 communes.

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 Forest amidst the city. Photo: Le Hoang

Under Resolution No. 54-NQ/TW issued by the Politburo on December 10th, 2019, on “Building and developing Thua Thien Hue province to 2030, with the vision to 2045” aiming at “By 2025, Thua Thien Hue is to become a centrally-governed municipality on the basis of preserving and promoting the value of the Ancient Capital’s heritage and Hue cultural identity, with cultural, heritage, ecological, landscape, and environmentally-friendly and smart characteristics,” so in the near future, when Thua Thien Hue province “bears” a new name as a centrally-governed Hue city, it will open up many new opportunities for us with a new vision, open mindset and breakthrough thinking!

In terms of scale and influence, with the total area continuing to expand up to 4,947.11 km2, the new development area will be many times larger than the area of heritage urban areas and relic areas required of conservation. Thus, the new Hue city will need to increase the population and attract more high-quality immigrant labors to meet the needs of socio-economic development. On the one hand, the young generation of Thua Thien Hue needs to know how to cherish and preserve the legacy left by their ancestors, and on the other hand, they need to know how to stand up and continue the tradition of exploring and exploiting new lands that have a lot of potential but are still left “intact”, contributing to helping the new Hue become richer and more powerful. 

Preserving and promoting heritage values 

In terms of promoting heritage values to serve the socio-economic development, Hue still has many golden opportunities, which up to now have not been adequately exploited. For example, the development of the Phu Hiep - Phu Hau - Phu Cat island urban area, is a historic green space surrounded by the Perfume River and Dong Ba River, with opportunities to develop a waterway network and boat wharf around the island and connecting the existing central area on the south bank of the Perfume River, with Hue Citadel on the north bank of the Perfume River, along Dong Ba River connecting to Bao Vinh ancient town.

It is also possible to develop a bicycle and electric car route along Chi Lang ancient town, running along the banks of the green Dong Ba River, passing by Dieu De Pagoda - Tang Thu Pavillion (Archives Office) - Tinh Tam Lake – Art University, then back to Bao Vinh ancient town. If there are appropriate conservation, embellishment, and development plans, this place can become an attractive tourist area no less than Hoi An Ancient Town on both sides of the Thu Bon River. 

Exploring new lands

In terms of future role and position in the relationship between urban areas, Hue, together with Da Nang, will play the role of both the driving force center and growth pole of the Central Key Economic Region, as well as the the central urban area of the entire North Central Region and Central Coast. At that time, Hue will not only develop on its own, but also have to actively create motivation for socio-economic development cooperation with other provinces and cities in the region, helping improve the competitiveness of the Urban Area within the country and with foreign countries. 

In terms of exploring new lands, Hue has many new opportunities opening up, from the sea to the western hills and mountains. In particular, the focus of Hue’s socio-economic development in the next few decades will likely be concentrated on the marine economic area, especially the coastal urban area along the route of Hue - Thuan An - Phu Bai - Cau Hai - Chan May - Lang Co - Da Nang. Some new development concepts that have no precedent in Hue will likely form here in the near future, for example Phu Bai Airport Urban Area, Chan May Seaport Urban Area, Lang Co Marine Ecology Tourism Urban Area, Tam Giang - Cau Hai lagoon ecotourism villages, etc.

Hue has a large land fund for developing Phu Bai airport urban area, while the land fund and expansion capability of Da Nang airport is limited by urban space, so when being able to create a convenient public transport to connect these two airports together, they can completely support each other when an airplane has difficulty with taking off or landing in bad weather at either one of them. 

Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone will become an important dynamic economic area of the country thanks to its leading strategic position in the Central Key Economic Region, because it is the only place located in the middle region, with easy access to two national and international gateway airports, Phu Bai and Da Nang, two deep-water seaports, Chan May and Lien Chieu, conveniently connected to the national highway and railway system.

Regarding training human resources with sound knowledge, Hue needs to focus on training high quality human resources, building university urban areas, multi-disciplinary and multi-field training centers; talking innovations and applications of scientific and technological achievements into practice.

In the direction of linking training to practice, we should cooperate in organizing the system of multi-disciplinary national universities of the Central Coast provinces in the direction of connection and university transfer with one another. Among them, Hue is strong in pedagogical, medicine and dentistry, arts and culture, heritage preservation training, etc., while Da Nang is strong in financial economics, construction, business administration training, etc., and Khanh Hoa is strong in oceanography, biology, epidemiology training, etc. Thanks to that, students can have more diverse options for learning and experimenting opportunities, linked to the actual strengths of each region in order to develop their careers, serving their homeland. 

The harmony between traditional and modern urban identities 

The identity of a centrally-governed Hue city is also increasingly richer and more colorful. In contrast to the “static”, quiet and gentle characteristics of the traditional urban and heritage spaces of ancient Hue, which we need to respectfully preserve and promote, we may create new urban spaces that are more “dynamic”, modern and comfortable etc., in which residents go to bed later, and there are even areas that are fully “awake” 24 hours a day, due to the need to cooperate and exchange contracts with people on the other side of the world. 

Hue will become richer and more powerful, yet at the same time preserving its unique identity, and having new identity areas constructed, giving people more choices regarding a living and working space suitable to their capabilities and desires: young people can look for more dynamic economic areas to dedicate themselves to society, while people with families will look for those with the best schools for children and the best hospitals for the elderly, and those who love living close to nature, without the hustle and bustle of the world, can also choose a safe living space for themselves. 

Story: Ngo Viet Nam Son, PhD., Architect
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