HCMC to build Vietnam's largest public square

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Ho Chi Minh City will build the country's largest public square at the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, a rapidly gentrifying area in its southeast, for cultural activities and tourism.

A zoning plan recently approved by the People's Committee envisages a square on an area of 30 hectares of which a third will consist of a riverside park.

It will be used for cultural activities, festivals, political events, and as a public space that can accommodate up to 430,000 people at a time.

There will be landmark structures like sightseeing towers and lotus-shaped buildings around the square.

The plan's French consultant, Deso Defrain Souquet Associates, has proposed that the construction will account for only 5 percent of the area, and that there will be parking lots for 2,500 cars and other services on offer.

The park will in fact be a botanical garden with tropical plants that will also allow people to walk, jog, and play sports.

According to the Department of Transportation, a VND10 trillion (US$480 million) four major streets will be built in Thu Thiem by 2015.

The 657-hectare Thu Thiem Urban Area spreads over District 2's An Khanh, Thu Thiem, An Loi Dong and parts of Binh An and Binh Khanh wards.

It is planned as the city's financial, trade, and services hub as well as a cultural and recreational center.

It will have 150,000 people living there and 220,000 working.

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