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Hà Nội, a Metropolis in the Making

Sylvie Fanchette

Part One. A city woven from water and villages

Chapter 1. Hà Nội between the ‘waters’

S. Fanchette, R. Orfeuvre et Trần Nhật Kiên

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Extrait du texte

Originally made up of urban villages dotted with ponds and pools, the Old Quarter of 36 Streets and Corporations, and a citadel where water flowed through a moat linked to the hydraulic system, the city of Hà Nội has spread out over its fringes, integrating very populous and multi-activity villages and lake replacement basins in the surrounding area.

It has been erected ‘between’ the waters and ‘on’ the waters at very variable rhythms in an environment very prone to flooding and threatened by spates from a dangerous river that flows above the level of the plain. Water is an integral part of Hà Nội City, and even if the capital turns its back on the Red River, hidden behind imposing dykes, water is visible in the multitude of lakes that permeate the city’s territory. In addition to their function countering flooding, these lakes play several other roles: economic ones for craft villages, but also cultural and symbolic. In this ‘hydraulic’ civilisation, many rituals are practised durin...


PhD in Geography from Paris 8 University and is authorised to supervise research. She has been conducting research at IRD since 1993 and is a member of UMR Ceped.
Her main research interests are the urbanisation process in densely populated rural areas and the conditions of population densification in the Nile and Red River Deltas. In Vietnam, she studies rural industrialisation and the peri-urbanisation process in the context of the Vietnamese capital’s metropolisation..

Registered Architect. Since 2007 he has taken part in the Hà Nội-Toulouse co-operation project for the conservation of the architectural, urban and intangible heritage of the Old Quarter (inventories, regulations, exhibitions, restoration of places of worship, habitations, architectural groups, etc.). He is currently working on the creation of a heritage centre for the Old Quarter and in particular the permanent exhibition that will recount the Quarter’s history since its foundation up to the present day.

An architect with a PhD in Geography from Université de Toulouse 2 Le Mirail. He is a researcher and Lecturer at the Hà Nội school of Architecture.
Both in his research and in his teaching, he works on issues relative to socio-cultural, morphologic and geomantic transformations of villages on the outskirts of Hà Nội in the context of accelerated urbanisation since 1986.

© IRD Éditions, 2016

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