Downtown Ho Chi Minh City needs restrictions on high-rise buildings: architects

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Ho Chi Minh City needs to restrict the construction of tall buildings in the downtown area to protect its architectural heritage, architects warned at a recent conference.

VnExpress quoted Ngo Viet Nam Son, an architect, as saying there should be a law to regulate construction of high-rises in several areas in District 1. It is now easy to get permission for such construction, he said.

High-rises should only be approved if they get the green light from local residents and central assessment boards that should take an overview of the city's history, he said.

The city should start by identifying historical areas where construction of high-rise buildings should be banned, he said.

HCMC needs to protect a total area of around 100 hectares.

High-rise buildings such as the 269-meter Bitexco tower are seeking to replace old structures and become iconic city landmarks, but people do not value them much, architect Le Quang Ninh said.

He called for preserving old structures like Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Assoc Prof Nguyen Trong Hoa said many of the city's structures dating back up to 300 years ago have been replaced by new buildings since 1986, when the country began to open up its economy.

"The challenge of preserving historical architecture has become much bigger than before," he added.

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