Hanoi has made efforts to expand its green cover from the city center to its suburbs and ring roads, which has helped make the capital one of the most tree-covered cities in the world, according to a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
According to the US travel website Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel guide platform, "Vietnam's charming capital has aged well, preserving ancient architecture amid modern development. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards, and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city, which is easily explored by taxi."
The website added that Hanoi is a welcoming and modern capital, yet retains ancient cultural values.
One of the highlights of Hanoi's friendliness is the shade provided by its many trees. The city boasts old streets with typical trees, such as Phan Dinh Phung and Lo Duc streets, with rows of old trees with thick green foliage overhanging high-rise buildings.
Phan Dinh Phung Street in Hanoi under a giant canopy is one of the greenest, cleanest, and most beautiful streets in the capital city. Photo: Bao Chau/ The Hanoi Times
Pham Van Son, a resident of Ba Dinh District, told The Hanoi Times, "In recent years, tree-shaded Hanoi has undergone positive changes. The city is more beautiful and greener thanks to rows of beautiful and colorful trees. Some streets have become photogenic spots for young people or destinations for cultural and artistic activities. Hanoi is really much more beautiful now.
Over the years, Hanoi has continuously planted thousands of new trees. In the old streets, whenever an evergreen tree fell, a new sapling was immediately planted to replace it. Many streets have been improved and widened, with greenery covering both sides of the road. Tourists can enjoy the shade of many trees on new streets such as Pham Van Dong, Pham Hung, Le Duc Tho, Hoang Quoc Viet, Vo Chi Cong, Vo Nguyen Giap, and others.
Many experts have believed that the urban trees planted in Hanoi's streets are suitable for the city's climatic conditions or non-toxic and non-polluting, so the trees will remain a footprint for tourists visiting the capital.
According to Professor Dr. Ngo Quang De of the University of Forestry, every street in Hanoi should be lined with a typical tree with different flowers in the four seasons.
"The tree is a living organism that has a metabolism with the external environment, which is very different from architecture. It can change depending on the season, age, climate, or soil. That's why we need to carefully study how and where to plant trees. Hanoi needs to research and plant more trees that are suitable for cold climates while maintaining natural beauty," De told The Hanoi Times.
Forestry expert Le Huy Cuong of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) praised Hanoi's recent efforts to increase the number of trees. "Planting trees not only helps to green the city, regulate the air and improve the environment but also contributes to creating a prominent place on every street in Hanoi," Cuong said.
Statistics from the Hanoi Department of Construction show that there are about 1.7 million trees in the city, which provide green spaces, help balance the ecology, and provide a fresh environment for residents.
The department has asked relevant units to draw up an annual plan to plant more trees in urban areas, industrial zones, and along roads and streets on the outskirts of the city to increase tree cover.
"The city has reached the target of planting one million trees by 2020, two years ahead of schedule. Hanoi will plant 500,000 new trees by 2021-2025. Among the trees to be planted this year are orchids, Madagascar almond trees and giant myrtles. They will be planted for their shade or ornamental value. At present, the tree-planting movement is spreading widely in Hanoi's localities," the department said.
Under the plan, more than 100,000 trees were planted in 2021 and 2022, and around 400,000 more trees are expected to be planted in the next three years. Areas, where new trees will be planted, include traffic projects, parks, and five outlying districts including Thanh Tri, Gia Lam, Dong Anh, Dan Phuong, and Hoai Duc.
As a key unit in planting trees for the city, the Hanoi Green Park Company said that since 2019, it has planted many layers of trees, including many imported trees, to create focal points in important areas, gradually improving the quality of greenery in flower gardens, parks and dividers in the city.