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An ode to mixed use

March 21, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Cities, Exercise, Livable Cities, Urban Planning, Vietnam, Walking Post a comment!


On my way to dinner recently in Hanoi, I noticed that my shoes were flapping. On the short walk back to the hotel, I search in vain for a shoe repair shop. No luck. I then realize that my shoes are already probably past repair. Time to buy a new pair… As I think this, I notice a small shoe shop. I walk in and immediately find the perfect pair. They are fairly inexpensive; the owner explains that as the shop is part of her home, she doesn’t have to pay rent. Having spent all my remaining cash on them, I stop at an ATM before turning in to my hotel.

The next morning I try them out, jogging in the nearby park. They are comfortable…and I am appreciative that I am staying in a mixed-use neighbourhood, where (other than a shoe repair shop) so many conveniences are accessible within a short walk! This is, notably, a big contrast from a new neighbourhood I visited in Da Nang, where we failed to find a restaurant nearby and had to take a taxi to reach one. There wasn’t much by way of shops either…as if someone has failed to notice that when you create areas that are mostly residential with few other amenities, you create more traffic, pollution, noise and other problems!

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