Over the past six months, District 2 has been gaining itself a new park. Located on a five-hectare site under the east side of Saigon Bridge, work has been slow, but the area was once a fenced-in, abandoned piece of land with wild grass, a few shacks and a lot of construction waste. Surrounded by a high green fence, it stood like that for years. It also used to host a large number of sex workers.
Since the fence has been removed, the space has been transformed, with the planting of proper grass and trees. The former wasteland is now airy and spacious, decorated with contemporary art and stone paths. Divided in two by Tran Nao Street, the first section is 90% complete and the second has just reached 60% completion. There is also an unfinished pond and a number of gazebos for visitors to enjoy. Ladies of the night still congregate in the area after dark, but not as many as in the past.
The renovation of the park has been subject to significant delays — the original plans were posted on the Internet in 2014. According to quan2.hochiminhcity.gov.vn, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee handed the area over to the city’s Transport Department for public use in May 2014. Delays or not, it’s part of the general transformation of the swampland that once made up District 2 and in particular nearby Thu Thiem. The concept is to build a new city, an alternative residential, business and recreational area for those previously with their focus on District 1.
Now in 2016 the park project is nearing completion. So maybe it’s worth going to have a look. — Vu Ha Kim Vy
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Barry Friday, 08 January 2016 09:13 Comment Link
I live near this new park and for all the great intentions its missed the point of walking safely. The pavers used in some areas of the park are so uneven many will roll or break ankles trying to navigate them. Secondly actually getting to the park safely and avoidin traffic is done how? At least progress is a good thing but please why can't Vietnam place more emphasis on the safety of the people not just asthetics for these projects? PS haven't seen too many rubbish and recycling bins yet, maybe still coming. Also be great to have a Doggie Bag Bin supplying small bags for responsible owners to pickup and dispose of their dogs 'mess'.