Today, I sat down to look at this news story again. It discusses the disastrous 21st century renovation of a number of Hà Nội’s wet markets.
Hà Nội’s Municipal People’s Committee has admitted defeat in its attempts to drive traditional wet markets into purpose built modern facilities.
The authorities planned to convert,
39, often historically significant, markets into modern trading centres, of 132 markets by 2020.
So far, three markets have been “fully converted”. Some of those markets have remained “unused”. Others, have seen a “huge fall” in the number of customers.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee, the strategy to convert wet markets into modern trading centres had been ‘halted’. However, he claimed the city would continue renovating and keeping wet markets in the basements of other traditional markets.
In the short term, Nga Tu So, Chau Long and Thanh Cong markets will be not squeezed into ill-suited trading centres, but will instead be renovated based on their current model.
I was going to slightly edit the final chapter in my book to reflect this news item, but on second reading I don’t think there’s anything I need to change. And the traders in these renovated markets are certainly not happy,
(Market trader) Son added that her sales at the new venue are only 10-20 percent compared to the old market.
“I received no customers after spending the whole day in that basement, so I decided to quit,” Nguyen Thi Vinh, who used to sell green produce at Cua Nam (market), said. link
And, it’s not much better further south,
The 23-year-old Han Market is expected to give way to a 26-story trade center; while the Con Market, constructed during the French colonial period, will be replaced by a 13,500-square-meter trade zone, the municipal Department of Construction announced on August 29. The demolition plans will affect around 1,000 small traders, who will be relocated to temporary markets while the new structures are built. link
In addition, this story from September, 2014, does not fill me with confidence that the planners have a clue as to what they’re doing.
At a recent conference, Hanoi’s authorities announced a plan to build a network of wholesale and retail markets in the capital city by 2020 with a vision toward 2030. According to the Hanoi People’s Committee, the city will build 23 large supermarkets; 42 trade centres and 595 markets.
However, economists have voiced concerns… Dr. Dang Dinh Dao, former head of the Institute of Economic Research and Development, under National Economics University, said that raising the number of supermarkets from 100 now to 1,000 in the next five years is too ambitious considering the city’s current limited infrastructure condition. link
I could go on, but the crux of it is – there’s nothing I need to change in the final chapter of my book.
Photo by me (and not of a market)