HCMC to dig deep for more downtown space

By Ha An   October 22, 2021 | 04:49 pm PT
HCMC to dig deep for more downtown space
Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in HCMC's District 1, where an underground space has been planned, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture is making plans to have at least two more underground areas in District 1 with malls, parking lots and other services.

In a draft plan that has been sent to experts, related agencies, and released to the public for feedback, the department envisages two underground spaces underneath the Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street and the Me Linh Roundabout.

The area under Nguyen Hue street will go three floors underground, with routes linked to nearby landmarks such as the Saigon Opera House and the park along the Saigon River, aside from stairs leading to underground shopping malls. There will also be water fountains and parks aside from parking lots.

The underground area under the Me Linh Roundabout will have a garden, surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores. The area will be connected to an underground parking lot beneath Ton Duc Thang Street.

HCMC had already approved a detailed plan for developing its downtown area in 2012.

The plan, which is set to be carried out on a total area of 930 hectares (2,300 acres), comprises underground spaces of the two metro stations, the Ben Thanh and Opera House stations of the city’s metro line No.1, which has been scheduled to start operation to the end of 2023 or later.

According to the Department of Planning and Architecture, underground works will open up space for traffic, services, and commerce.

They will not only help reduce traffic jams but respond to the city's rapid urban development needs, the department has said.

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