Saturday, April 17, 2010

Frenchmen to update Da Lat City plan

Lam Dong People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Hoa said on April 13 that the Paris Urban Planning Institute and a prestigious French architectural firm have been chosen because “French characteristics” are a uniquely attractive aspect of the older parts of the city. 

The original plan for Da Lat was the work of the architect Ernest Hebrard in 1923. Though Hebrard also developed city plans and designed important buildings in Saigon, Hanoi, Haiphong, Phnom Penh and Vientiane, Da Lat is the first and only city in Vietnam that was built from scratch according to a Western style city plan..

However, due to loose management, many French-style villas in Da Lat have been “ravaged.” Despite the local government’s efforts, luxury villas and palaces have become untidy apartment blocks. Nearly 100 French-style villas are still used by hundreds of families and they are seriously downgraded.

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