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Low-cost, Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Neighbourhood Public Spaces in Tan Mai Ward, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Low-cost, Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Neighbourhood Public Spaces in Tan Mai Ward, Hanoi, Vietnam



Tan Mai ward had a significant lack of functional public spaces, which prevented residents from fully participating in community life. Tan Mai ward is located in the Hoang Mai district, which is a lower-income area in the fast urbanizing city of Hanoi. Tan Mai ward double the city average of migrants from other provinces throughout Vietnam and has higher levels of poverty and informal workers. Local residents of the ward, especially women, children, elderly and people with disabilities, need public spaces to support their physical and mental health and active lifestyles.

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Family working on playground in Tan Mai Ward, Hanoi

Unfortunately, the ward lacked these spaces. There were neither parks nor public gardens in the ward and although there were several existing playgrounds in the ward, all of them were degraded. Nevertheless, Tan Mai ward has a dozen of land sites that could become quality public spaces with minimal effort and only small amount of investment. We worked intensively in Tan Mail Ward to demonstrate how a variety of small interventions can create better quality public spaces.

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Achieved Outcomes

As a result of adding the play spaces, we have created a series of public spaces in Tan Mai that provide local residents with five safe, comfortable, attractive places to rest, socialize, play and enjoy. Specific outcomes include:

  • Over 1000 residents use the sites each day.
  • The city government contributed $89,579 to the project including venues and logistic costs for community meetings, official working hours and improvement of infrastructure, which included sidewalks and drainage systems.
  • City officials have an increased understanding of the participatory approach to developing public spaces and more skills to create inclusive public spaces for all.
  • The project was successful in introducing initiatives to improve community spaces, demonstrating how a variety of small and low-cost interventions can create better quality public spaces in Hanoi.

A strong collaboration between HealthBridge, the local government, partners, and active participation of the community were the key for the success. This has also helped encourage the government to improve other public spaces in the community and in 2020 they will work on redeveloping a street market in the ward with the help of HealthBridge, UN-Habitat, and Think Playgrounds.