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Saigon to Turn Lam Son Square Into a Park

Saigon’s Lam Son Square has been through countless rounds of empty promises and mismanagement - will this finally be its big break?

On January 17, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport and the Department of City Planning and Architecture met to discuss future collaborative projects, reports Tuoi Tre.

According to Bui Xuan Cuong, the transport director, his department is planning to create more parks in Saigon. The most prominent one in the initiative will be a 1,000-square-meter green space in Lam Son Square, behind the Saigon Opera House in District 1.

Development proposals for the empty space, which served as a parking lot for years, surfaced as early as 2008, when an investor wished to build an underground parking lot to serve nearby hotels and places of interest. However, city officials rejected the plan, fearing that a subterranean structure would interfere with construction of the metro system.

In 2016 and 2017, another investor suggested that the lot should be turned into a multi-storey parking garage, but that project was also shelved.

However, the drama didn’t stop there. In August last year, during District 1 Vice Chairman Doan Ngoc Hai’s sidewalk-clearing campaign, his inspection team evicted the parking attendants and wiped out the ad hoc parking zone. The lot has sat unused since.

Public reception to the plan to put a park in the lot has been positive so far, but many are still skeptical as the two departments didn’t give a specific timeline for the park’s completion.

Apart from the future park on Lam Son Square, green spaces will also line the Thanh Da Canal in Binh Thanh District and an empty lot behind the District 9’s People’s Committee.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]


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