A hot pot from Da Lat city (Source: NDO)

The “Creative City” workshop was jointly held by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), with support from the Savico Group.

Michael Croft, UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam, stressed the significant role of young people in the capital’s development.

Dr Nguyen Quang, UN-Habitat Programme Manager in Vietnam, cited figures from the UN and the General Statistics Office (GSO) in noting that Hanoi has been among the fastest-growing cities worldwide over the last six decades.

Between 1960 and 2019, its population increased 12.5-fold while its land area expanded 22.1-fold. Of special note, its urban population had grown nine-fold as of last year compared with 1960.

About 40 percent of the local population are under 25 years of age, and about to hit a “golden population structure”, he said.

However, such advantages are not enough, Quang went on, emphasising that authorities need to facilitate innovation and promote cultural diversity.

Apart from special architectural facilities, the city boasts thousands of heritages and up to 1,350 craft villages, which, participating delegates said, make the city stand out.

Given the trend towards digitalisation, they suggested Hanoi and other urban areas in Vietnam look towards smart cities where cultural heritages retain their differences and competitive edge. 

Pham Thi Lan Anh, head of the heritage management bureau under the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, said Hanoi is committed to placing culture and innovation at the core of its sustainable development, towards becoming a leading innovation centre in Southeast Asia./.

BTA