Hanoi to become the latest destination on world eco-cities list

Wednesday 02 February 2011 01:00

Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) was awarded a commission to develop Hanoi's first "green tech corridor," merging two existing villages and cutting the area's carbon emissions.

The firm, designer of the re-development of Canary Wharf in London and the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria, was awarded the project during the week ending January 30.

The development plan for the Vietnamese city involves the redevelopment of two villages to create a miniature city roughly 180 hectares in size. The project, developed in close cooperation with the mayor of Hanoi, needs final approval from local authorities and is unlikely to be started before next year.

The redevelopment, which is expected to be completed over the next 10-15 years, involves environmentally friendly technology such as heating and cooling systems powered by renewable energy, waste recycling schemes and rainwater collection points. The development includes 'smarter' and more environmentally friendly planning techniques such as utilizing natural waterways to transport water back to the river rather than installing an array of piping.

Initially the project will be populated by the 6,000 residents of the two villages on the outskirts of Hanoi, though that figure is expected to rise to around 20,000 once the project is fully completed.

A spokesperson for SOM told Relaxnews that in order to further reduce the carbon emissions associated with construction the company will "most likely use local labor and construction techniques."  

The trend for 'green building' is no longer restricted to individual residences or housing projects but is increasingly being extended to cover entire cities. China, one of the world's leading manufacturers of renewable energy technology, is intending to build an 'eco city' near Tianjin, 112 km south of the capital Beijing. The Tianjin eco city, designed by Surbana Urban Planning Group, will be about 30 square kilometers and utilize the latest environmentally friendly technology; it is expected to be completed around 2020.

Eco conscious travelers can find environmentally friendly destinations at   Go Green Traveler  and Science.howstuffworks. These sites compile lists of cities around the world deemed 'green' due to their construction or adoption of environmentally friendly policies; including Malmö (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and Masdar (United Arab Emirates), which, when completed, will be the world's first city powered entirely by renewable energy.

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