World Habitat Day in VietnamIn Vietnam, the message contained in World Habitat Day in relation to the country’s specific context was distributed to the mass media such as newspaper, magazine and interview in television to raise the public awareness of 2011 theme of Cities and Climate Change on October 3, 2011.

In addition, UN-HABITAT Vietnam in co-ordination with the Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations organised a workshop on “Support in the formulation of policies for the renewal of old urban areas” on October 14-15 in Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam as a local contribution to World Habitat Day. In the opening session of the workshop, Dr Nguyen Quang, UN-HABITAT Programme Manager, shared the statement by Dr. Joan Clos, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Executive Director of UN-HABITAT on the occasion of World Habitat Day with video illustration.

World Habitat Day in Vietnam1Renewal of old urban quarters increasingly becomes a pressing issue as almost all old buildings in urban areas throughout the country were mainly constructed in the decade between 1970-80 and now are in poor condition. In order to adapt to climate change and ensure the safety of residents still living in these buildings, it is critical to have suitable policies and proactive participation of different stakeholders in the process of old building renewal. There have been 250 participants including urban planning professionals, experts, architectures, , governors, urban authorities, representatives of associations, national and international organisations to review status of old buildings, share experience and recommend solutions to this issue. UN-HABITAT contributed to the workshop with Dr Quang’s special speech to highlight the importance of climate change adaptation as an integral part of old buildings renewal strategies, Mrs. Hoa My (a partner of UN-Habitat Vietnam)’s presentation on “Experiences of Israel in upgrading old buildings”, and dissemination 250 CDs of ‘Quick Housing Policy Guides’ Series which were translated to Vietnamese , including 2 recent volumes: “A Policy Guide to Rental Housing in Developing Countries” and “Enabling Shelter Strategies: Design and Implementation Guide for Policymakers”

In conclusion, all key messages have been successfully highlighted on the World Habitat Day in Vietnam. This would significantly raise awareness of people and their responsibility for better cities for the future.