Expansion plan should return green spaces to Da Lat: experts

By Phuoc Tuan   March 22, 2023 | 05:09 pm PT
A plan to expand the hill town Da Lat and turn it into an administrative center with high-end tourism could be a chance to reduce the overload in the city and instead share it with satellite towns, experts said.

Architect Ngo Viet Nam Son said Da Lat's infrastructure system is strained and it urgently needs to share the load with other urban centers.

Da Lat should not be concretized further and should not add more high-rise buildings, said Son, who has spent years studying the city’s urban planning.

The government should divert construction projects to satellite areas, he added.

"Green spaces should be returned to the Da Lat center," said Son.

Houses in the center of Da Lat Town, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Houses in the center of Da Lat, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

A plan approved recently by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh aims for Da Lat to encompass a total area of 335,000 hectares by 2045, from the current 39,400 hectares.

Da Lat will soon encompass the Lac Duong, Don Duong, Duc Trong and Lam Ha districts to the north, south, east and west. All four districts are currently home to vast spaces of forest land.

According to the plan, the existing town of Da Lat will be the center of six "satellite towns." Each town will have a different function to serve the demands of agriculture development, nature conservation, eco-tourism, shopping, and entertainment.

Son said a chain of satellite towns with diverse tourism products and services can help pull tourists away from Da Lat center, which is now too crowded.

Da Lat should only serve tourists who come to visit during the day, and they should spend the night in satellite towns, he said.

He suggested more focus should be placed on developing public transport in the city, as the large number of private vehicles using the streets has been damaging Da Lat, where most roads were built small.

"Tourists coming on private vehicles should be made to pay an environment fee, and a high parking fee, said Son."

Greenhouses in Da Lat, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Greenhouses in Da Lat, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Vu Ngoc Long, former head of the Southern Ecology Institute, said the expansion plan should also pay attention to reducing or even eliminating greenhouses which are "suffocating" Da Lat.

Long said more environmentally friendly measures should be adopted in agriculture, in order to improve irrigation in Da Lat. The highlands town has suffered more flooding in recent years and experts have blamed this on the density of greenhouses and other constructions.

Nguyen Mong Sinh, former chairman of the Science and Technology Associations of Lam Dong Province, home to Da Lat, said the hill town has been left to develop in random and messy ways.

"Da Lat’s urban space has turned terrible," he said. "The romantic city has been largely lost."

Sinh called for a long-term plan for Da Lat with specific development steps, based on gathering opinions from relevant experts.

go to top