Vietnam’s Housing Enclaves Where Even the Air is Cleaner!

 

Wide spread of gated communities is global with different scales, characteristics and contingencies.

 

Gated communities and vast, privately built and managed “new towns” like these have spread across southeast Asia over the last 20 years as rising levels of inequality have redefined the region’s cities. Vietnam as a whole has seen a dramatic reduction in poverty over the same period – but inequality is growing, and becoming increasingly marked in the country’s expanding urban areas. (Guardian)

 

Rise in equality is the major drive behind this spread. Check this out rent for a villa in Ciputra housing enclave is 25 times the minimum wage in Vietnam! 25 times!

 

Beyond Ciputra’s walls, villas painted shades of beige are set amid lush private gardens – with price-tags of as much as £3,000 a month to rent (25 times the minimum wage). A world unto itself, the complex is a land of Greek revival architecture, tennis courts and amenities including a beauty salon and a post office. The United Nations International School moved there in 2004, followed by two other private schools, and a private kindergarten. Under construction still are a mega-shopping mall and a private hospital. (Guardian)

 

Well take a deep breath, or not! The most disgraceful part of the story of Vietnam’s housing enclaves is the commodification of air!

 

While security concerns and a fear of urban crime are typically among the motives driving the elite behind walls in cities in South America and sub-Saharan Africa, in Hanoi developments are increasingly being marketed as exclusive enclaves of convenience and clean air, away from the air pollution and traffic congestion of the city. (Guardian)

 

Traffic in Hanoi, Vietnam         Image Credit: Guardian

But, not everything is smooth, thanks to ordinary folk 🙂

Locals protesting development of a housing enclave Image Credit: Guardian

For the full story check Inside Hanoi’s gated communities

Istanbul, Candidate for Green Capital of Europe! Seriously!?

Istanbul is among the applicants to be 2017 Green Capital of Europe!

Considering the loss of green open spaces in the city, loss hectares of northern forests for the roads and the third bridge, and Gezi Resistance sparked on the demolishment of Gezi Park last year, it truely sounds like a joke for people who are familiar with the context.

Here is the condition of public open spaces in Istanbul together with a comparison with other global cities according to World Cities Culture Report 2013.

Resim1Percentage of Public Open Green Spaces (Public Parks and Gardens) within Urban Macroforms

Info Graphic by sunipeyk.com

The application comes at a time when the city’s authorities are clamping down on environmental protests while forging ahead with projects that threaten Istanbul’s few green spaces.
“It’s a joke,” said Oğuz Kaan Salici, the Istanbul chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)

Read the full story here with reactions from activists here in Guardian article.