Hanoi will relocate around 1,800 families from the famous Old Quarter to a new urban area, according to a proposal recently made by Hoan Kiem District's authorities.
The evacuees, mainly those living in buildings housing many families or around offices, schools and historical sites, will move to the Viet Hung new urban area in Long Bien District.
Under the proposal, the families will move in apartments of 60-100 square meters each which will be sold or rented out at prices decided by Hanoi's People's Committee.
Le Quynh Anh, deputy head of Hanoi Old Quarter Management Board, told Thanh Nien the proposal will be discussed with scientists and made public for opinions from people after being approved by the municipal authorities.
According to Anh, their latest survey showed that 1,618 of 1,800 families had agreed to move.
In the meantime, news website Vietnamnet reported that the capital will invest at least VND4 trillion (US$211 million) into the project which is part of its plan to reduce the quarter's population density from the current 84,000 people per square kilometer to 60,000-70,000 per square kilometer by 2020.
It quoted the city's authorities as saying that the families will be encouraged to as early as possible and tough action will be taken if needed.
The move is necessary for preserving the historic area and its monuments, according to the authorities.
Standing for almost 1,000 years, the Old Quarter is famous for its 36 guild streets.