Millions of Hanoi Trees Turn Vietnam's Capital Into a ‘Garden City’

Could Hanoi in Vietnam Be Another Garden City in the Making?

The Vietnamese city took inspiration from Singapore as well as China’s tree planting methods.

For years, Hanoi — like Vietnam in general — has prided itself as the land of noodles, coffee, and motorbikes. At other times, it’s been compared to the Philippines for its limestone islands, Indonesia for its rice terraces, or Thailand for its Buddhist sites, which remain popular tourist spots just as much as they are religious locations.

Still, through all the things Hanoi is constantly being associated with, being a city of trees seems like the last thing people remember about it. Not because it enormously lacks vegetation. But amongst Hanoi’s chaotic streets combined with a head-turning food scene, it’s easy to overlook that this amazing Southeast Asian destination thrives with so much greenery.

Hanoi Trees in West Lake

Image credit: Vinh Dao via Canva Pro

Having lived in the city for quite some time, this is something I can personally and proudly vouch for. It wasn’t until recently, however, when its government planted millions of Hanoi trees all over the city that more people took notice of it as a potential new Garden City or City in Nature. Thus, giving its original Asian titleholder, Singapore, a good run for its money.

Also read: What Travelling in Vietnam Now Looks Like According to Filipino Expats

Why plant millions of Hanoi trees

The plan to make Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, a greener city kicked off between 2015 and 2016 as part of a multi-year urban tree planting project. Said to benefit from lesser pollution and improved disaster mitigation, Hanoi was foreseen to first reap the benefits of the initiative in 2020. By this year, it would successfully plant one million Hanoi trees in public spaces.

Image credit: Vinh Dao via Canva Pro

However, Hanoi has completely outdone itself by reaching the goal as early as 2018, cutting the project timeline by half. The national government then used the remaining years to plant additional trees — 300,000 each for 2019 and 2020. It wouldn’t have happened without the collective efforts of the government, private organisations, and its citizens. As of writing, Hanoi boasts of 1.6 million newly planted trees, making it one of Vietnam’s greenest cities.

If Hanoi does turn out to be another Singapore in the making with more trees soon to be planted, part of it is because the Vietnamese capital actually did take inspiration from the Lion City for these groundbreaking efforts. Hanoi Green Trees Park Company used Singapore as well as China’s tree planting methods and techniques. The company is responsible for Hanoi’s park planning and design.

Also read: 17 Fun Things to Do in Hanoi, Vietnam on Your First Trip

Image credit: sangaku via Canva Pro

The city of a million trees (and counting)

From 2016 to 2021, Hanoi has seen plantations of the following species on most of its streets and major highways: jacarandas, Madagascar almonds, date palms, and maples. Meanwhile, some of the locations where these Hanoi trees can be found and enjoyed by locals and tourists are the following: Lang; Hoang Dieu; Vo Chi Cong; Van Cao; Vo Van Kiet; Vo Nguyen Giap; and Hoang Quoc Viet.

Along with praises, the project received criticism. Among the most prevalent was how some of the trees weren’t exactly chosen to fit Hanoi’s climate and soil conditions. The bigger trees likewise concerned citizens over taking up too much space in common spaces and causing potential accidents. This is not to mention that they cost so much more than their less space-consuming counterparts.

Image credit: vinhdav via Canva Pro

To this, the Vietnamese government assured that these issues are being taken care of, starting with getting more help from specialised agencies rather than construction or similar industries alone. A program to have a billion more trees throughout Vietnam is also in the works. Meanwhile, citizens have responded to the initiatives by coming up with similar independent campaigns of their own.

Lao Dong, a local news site, has released more photos showing what Hanoi looks like after successfully planting over a million trees in 2021. The images have been shared by a Facebook page called Discover ASEAN, which you can check here.

Featured image credit: Hyeryeong Song | Unsplash

About Author

Joser Ferreras
Joser Ferreras

Joser is a senior writer for TripZilla based in Manila, Philippines. He mostly covers travel, people, and business.


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