Street roofs will last 10-15 years while trees will last hundreds of years

By Huu Nghi   April 1, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Street roofs will last 10-15 years while trees will last hundreds of years
Trees stand along Dong Khoi Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, November 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh
Readers are debating whether to install an overhead covering to provide shade on sidewalks while waiting for trees to grow big enough to shelter pedestrians from the sun.

Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) Planning and Architecture Department recently proposed installing an overhead covering over Le Loi Street in downtown District 1 that will cost between VND20-30 billion.

This is part of a landscaping solution for Le Loi after a metro station construction site was cleared and the once busy shopping street reopened last August.

Some readers believe that the city center urgently needs green spaces, so instead of investing tens of billions of dong for an overhead covering, the money should be invested in planting trees for longer-term benefit.

"The artificial materials used to build a covering lasts for only 10-15 years, while they only provide shade and protection from the rain without cooling the air. Planting trees not only creates shade but also improves air quality and lasts hundreds of years unless cut down. If two rows of banyan trees were planted in the middle and on both sides of the sidewalk, it would be great."
Xuan Diep

"If shopping areas are developed underground or in buildings in the future, there is no reason to install an overhead cover. They block the view and the city center's landscape. Especially in the evening, people need an open space. It's better to plant more trees to keep the city lively."

"Metal roofs get hot. If the roof covers a long stretch of sidewalk, it will be stuffy. The materials used should not retain heat or be too hot, and should allow for heat dissipation."
Tuen Thiet Tu

Meanwhile, some readers believe that overhead street coverings have been used in other countries and are a feasible solution to combat the sun while waiting for trees to grow.

"I saw that Singapore has built sun roofs on sidewalks to make it more comfortable for people to walk and encourage more walking. HCMC should do the same to encourage more walking."

"Trees are at risk of falling during storms. I once saw roofs installed on streets in Malaysia."
Do Mai

"I agree with installing roofs in areas without trees or where there is not enough shade from trees (even in areas with many trees) such as Ben Thanh Station. Singapore has a network of sidewalk roofs, ensuring protection from rain and sun, which also encourages walking."

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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