Red River Delta - Urbanization of Fragile Opportunities

Students: Adrian Baumberger, Alexander Braun, Romana Castiglioni, Christina Friedrich, Lea Glanzmann, Laura Pestalozzi, Hanae Pfändler, Stephie Pfenninger, Stéphanie Savio, Alexia Sawerschel, Sandra Schilling, Matthias Vollmer, Oliver Wagner, Anne-Kathrin Widmer, Philipp Wilhelm

Professors: Roger Diener, Marcel Meili
Assistants: Mathias Gunz, Rolf Jenni, Vesna Jovanovic, Christian Müller Inderbitzin

NUCE (National University of Civil Engineering): Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Thuy Loan, head of Dept. of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Planning Ma. Ta Quynh Hoa, lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Ma. Phung Thi My Hanh, lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Vu Lam Tung, Bui Phuong Ngoc, Nguyen Nhat Linh, Nguyen Thi Khanh Linh, Nguyen Duc Hieu, Vu Doan Linh, Nguyen Duc Man, Nguyen Thanh Tung, Nguyen Dinh Khoa, Luong Trung Hieu, Nguyen Viet Tien, Dang Manh Cuong, Nguyen Thao Trang, Dinh Trong Duyet, Pham Thi Kieu Phuong, Nguyen Duy Long, Nguyen Hoang, Nguyen Thu Van, Nguyen Thuy Linh

Special thanks to our friends and collaborators: Nguyen Ha (arb east), Pho Duc Tung, Tran Viet Tuyen (gmp Architects), Kelly Shannon, Michael Waibel, Ola Söderström, Man Quang Huy (Vietnam National University); Manuel Der Hagopian, Grégoire Du Pasquier, Nicolas Moser (group8asia); Dr. Stephanie Geertman (Healthbridge Canada), Pham Thi Hue Linh (Ministry of Construction); Nils Führer, Katrin Brömme, Prof. Harro Stolpe (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Hanoi); Pham Van Anh, Tran Thi Huong Giang, Le Thi Thu Huyen and the staff of the Indochina Legend Hotel

Graphic Designer: Absolut Agentur, St. Gallen
Editorial Supervisor: Vesna Jovanovic 
Editorial Assistant: Hanae Pfändler
Druckerei Weber GmbH & Co., Lörrach.

Published by ETH Studio Basel: Contemporary City Institute, Basel 2015

The territory of Northern Vietnam, centered around the ancient, leveled, intricate and rich agricultural landscape of the delta, with its capital Hanoi, has long been frozen; first by a grueling and prolonged war, and later by a very restrictive and isolating political regime. The Doi Moi reforms of the 80s aiming at a “socialist-oriented market economy” have exposed this territory almost overnight to the forces of globalization and thus irreversibly set it into motion. The 20+ million inhabitants of the region are now on the move, everyone, it seems, has become an entrepeneur and everything is under some sort of transformation. The privatization of public assets, amongst them almost all land, has led to a relentless struggle over control of the territory and its resources. In between these nebulous skirmishes of government agencies, influential functionaries and the newly rich oligarchs, the people—farmers, fishermen, small entrepreneurs and speculators—look for their own piece of the pie, grasping fragile opportunities between their traditional skills and temperamental global trends. ETH Studio Basel, interested in processes of urbanization beyond the urban centers, has travelled to Hanoi to investigate, with the help of local students from the National University of Civil Engineering, this territory, which has just started redefining itself under the influence of global forces and networks.


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