Hanoi authorities approved the Department of Planning and Architecture's proposal to build more than 100 public parks and playgrounds with a total area of 59ha around the city.
The Hanoi People's Committee said that the construction of 118 public parks and playgrounds is planned to begin this year. Local authorities are required to work with relevant agencies to allocate an area for the construction of these facilities.
The committee asked local authorities to quickly call upon organisations and individuals for investment in the project.
The Department of Planning and Architecture will work with the Department of Finance to report results to the city by the first quarter of this year, it said.
Nguyen The Hung, Director of the department, said that the rapid rate of urbanisation and loose management by local authorities resulted in the reduction of parks and playgrounds in Hanoi.
Currently, there are about 200 public parks and playgrounds in the city, 29 of which were built in four districts in the inner city.
These areas have been reduced in size, encroached upon or even replaced by residential houses, walls and stores. Some have been used for other purposes like storage space for building materials, such as the ones in Kim Lien and Trung Tu apartment building areas in Dong Da district, the Doi Can apartment building area in Ba Dinh district and the Nghia Tan apartment building area in Cau Giay district.
Tran Ngoc Anh, a resident in Hanoi's Giang Vo apartment building area, said food vendors encroached upon the playground in his family's neighbourhood. Thus, it was unhygienic and unsuitable for people, particularly children, to play in.
"I usually take my child to the lake nearby. It is located about 100 metres away from our house. That means we have to walk there," Anh said. "But it's fine. The playground has not been a place to play for years."
According to Hung, allocating land funds for the construction of these projects should be prioritised. The city will announce the results of inspection on public land and refrain from bidding public land in the inner city until a complete project evaluation is completed.
Hung said the department will continue making proposals to build an additional 334 playgrounds and public parks in 23 districts with an area of 167ha to create more green spaces for city residents.