Hoi An Public Spaces Master Plan

                                                              

Hoi An Public Spaces Master Plan

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Solution proposed by: 
HealthBridge, Hoi An city government
In a Nutshell: 
“Hoian Public Spaces (PS) Master Plan” is a 5 years strategy for developingPS. The Plan is intended to ensure PS for dwellers within reasonable walking distance of 400m to 800m, which equals a 5 to 10 minutes walk. The plan’s goal is to build a PS network for City.
Where and When: 
The Plan was developed for Hoi An city, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Central of Vietnam.The Plan was developed from 2013 to 2015 and will be implemented from 2015 until 202.
Challenges: 
PS has played an important role in communities throughout the history of urban development. PS are green spaces for city dwellers to relax, recreate, conduct their regular physical activities, meet and interact with one another. PS within a short distance from home also encourages people using active, healthy transportation modes such as walking or cycling. PS is one of the important elements of the built environment that directly effects public health. However, urbanization in Hoian is puttingpressure on PS. Population increases along withlimited land fundsmakes existing PS depressed both in number and serving distance.
Innovation: 
PS developmentin Hoian, prior to our project,was focused on developing big parks with large areasfar away from residential areas. The Plan developed in 2015 places priority on preserving and developing small neighbourhood PS near the places where people live and work. The PS Master Plan provides direction for the future PS development of Hoian to ensure that each of the 120,000 dwellers will have at least one (1) square meter of neighbourhood PS within the distance of four hundreds (400) meters from home, which begins buildingHoian as a walkable city for people.
Concept: 
Public spaces offer opportunities to enrich health and the quality of life for all people living in cities. Improving our health, strengthening our communities, and making our cities and neighbourhoods more attractive places to live and work are just some of the benefits. In spite of the important role that public spaces play, they are often threatened by the migration to cities. As land becomes more precious, green and public spaces are converted to residential housing and businesses. Strong commitment from governments is needed to preserve, protect, and value these spaces, which was what led the Hoian government to undertake their plan. In order to build the PS network within reasonable walking distance of where people live, the plan outlines how the city will develop mixed-use and inclusive PS from existing neighbourhood spaces such as community housesand abandoned lands, which are a short distance from people’s home. The new PS will be designed with equipment for children to play and the elderly to do exercise and interact. The development process encourages the community’s participation by organizing public consultations for the design of the PS, and encouraging residents to contribute to the budget, management and maintenance of the space.
Description: 
In 2012, HealthBridge Vietnam (HBV), a non-government organization working on the livable cities movement, implemented a campaign on public spaces in Hoianthat included strategies such as evidence, media, pilot projects, and advocacy. HBV conducted research on Hoian PS situation and supported local partners and communities to build multiple playgrounds and neighbourhood parks using a community engagement process. Finally, after the advocacy workshop held in September 2012, the Hoian government committed to mobilize resources to develop a Public Spaces Development Master Plan.By January 2013, Hoian’s government organizedthe Public Spaces City Team and theresources to develop a five-year plan for public spaces. The City Team is a group of leaders and professionals from city departments such as Urban Management Dept., Cultural – Communication Dept., Natural Resources and Environment Dept., Tourism and Trade Dept. The City Team was responsible for developing the Plan based on a two-year action plan from August 2013 to August 2015 with technical support of HBV. The plan developed based on the vision that “healthy and happy people living in Hoian with lots of fun and safe public spaces where dwellers and their neighbors feel closer to each other and belong to neighbourhoods”. The ultimate outcomes of Hoian Public Master Plan 2015 – 2020 are: increased Hoian dweller’s participation in regular physical activities, social interactions and recreations at PS in the City, leading to better quality of life, improved health for Hoian people and enhanced image of Hoian livable city.
Impacts: 
Preserving and developing Hoian’s parks and encouraging people to do more physical activities by walking and using parks. In the last six months of 2015, the plan successfully developed two Mini park/parkettes for 2 neighbourhoods of 1,600 people. The local government and communities built 3 new mixed-use Community Houses and renovated ten existing ones by equipping them with seats and playgrounds, which serves more than 5,000 adults and children. The city will also be implementing a pilot project for installing 3 sets of public sport equipment for more than 8,000 people of Minh An ward to do exercise. In total for the 5 years plan, the city is expected to develop 79 new PS and increase the area of PS per dweller to 9.2 square meters, whichmets the Vietnamese national standard and WHO recommendation for green spaces.