Hanoi downtown district to lease sidewalks for vending

By Vo Hai   December 30, 2021 | 06:54 am PT
Hanoi downtown district to lease sidewalks for vending
Businesses gather near the sidewalks of Hanoi's Hang Ngang and Hang Dao streets in mid-2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi has allowed Hoan Kiem District to temporarily approve the leasing of its sidewalks by food and beverage establishments at VND45,000 ($1.97) per square meter per month.

The decision, formalizing the municipal administration's approval of a proposal forwarded by its finance department, will allow use of sidewalks next to houses and within a building's front space for the purpose. The rent will need to be approved every six months.

The streets that will be made available for the purpose have not been specified. Earlier this year, Hoan Kiem approved a trial project to make the sidewalks of five streets: Hai Ba Trung, Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao, Le Phung Hieu and certain Phung Hung sections available for vending and other businesses. The spaces would be available between 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next day, with the exception being Phung Hung, where the space can be used from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hoan Kiem authorities said the approval of business operations on sidewalks would help restore order amid the current haphazardness, improve urban aesthetics, traffic safety and environmental protection. It would also attract tourists and promote socio-economic development, they said.

At the beginning of 2021, the Hanoi Department of Transport had disagreed with the project, saying it did not align with current regulations, especially the fact that the sidewalks would be utilized for non-traffic purposes. Doing businesses on the sidewalks of such streets, which are main traffic routes with high traffic density, may lead to traffic congestion, the department argued.

Just a few months later, Hanoi decided to let districts be responsible for managing and maintaining all alleys and sidewalks in their areas. Now, the city has accepted Hoan Kiem District’s proposal that its sidewalks are used for business purposes.

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