Danish Week – Solutions for Sustainable Cities

From Tuesday December 12th to Friday December 15th 2017, the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam collaborated with the National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE) to launch a series of events under the title “Danish Week – Solutions for Sustainable Cities” at the NUCE.

The program consisted of various activities, such as exhibition, conference, documentary screening, master class and one competition to seek feasible ideas to secure a greener and cleaner city.

The events started with an opening ceremony of the conference entitled “Solutions for Sustainable Cities – From Policies to Practice”. Participants included Madam Charlotte Laursen – the Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Duy Hoa – Rector of the NUCE, Mr. Tran Ngoc Chinh – Chairman of Vietnam Association of Urban Planning and Development, Mr. Nguyen Tan Van, President of Vietnam Association of Architects, and representatives from the Agency of Urban Development, the Agency of Infrastructure – the Ministry of Construction, Hanoi City Department of Planning, the Union of the Built Environment of Vietnam, Vietnam Association of Water Supply and Drainage and other delegates from Vietnam and abroad.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Duy Hoa – Rector of the NUCE – made an opening speech and welcomed all the delegates and distinguished guests to the conference, and expressed a great pleasure when the NUCE had been selected as a partner institution and co-organizer for the events by the Embassy of Denmark. He emphasized that the cooperation between Vietnam and Denmark has been established for many years, especially in education, environment and renewable energy. Currently, the relationship between the two countries has been upgraded, from supporting development to working together for development. Denmark has always been a world leader in action for a green economy, efficiency in use of natural resources and independence of fossil fuels. Therefore, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Duy Hoa hoped that the Danish Week “Solutions for Sustainable Cities” would bring more experience to Vietnam through the exchange of ideas among Danish and Vietnamese experts in order to foster the sharing and learning of new knowledge and strengthen the cooperation between Denmark and Vietnam in planning, architecture and environmental engineering. 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Duy Hoa – Rector of the NUCE – made an opening speech at the conference  

At the conference, Mr. Mogens Bjørn Nielsen – Director of the Department of Engineering and Environment of Aarhus city introduced the experience in urban planning and management which helped Aarhus become a liveable city, in which the building of vision and specific strategies focusing on the development of public transport systems ad bicycles remains a crucial point along with the management of waste water, the revitalization of canals, the use of regenerative energy, solar energy, wind energy and the energy gained from the collection and treatment of waste water. Danish architect 
Hans Peter Hagens also shared the experience of Copenhagen in the redevelopment of public places, the maximization of green roofs in the city center and the creation of communication space in order to encourage people to use public transport systems, along with commercial hubs, so that the local economy can flourish.

Dr. Nguyen Truc Anh – Director of the Institute of Hanoi City Planning – also introduced some integrated planning strategies including public transport and landscape architects in Hanoi towards sustainability. The problems that Hanoi is facing were raised for discussions and appropriate solutions.

One of the most important activities of the Danish Week under the title “Solutions for Sustainable Cities” was an exhibition that introduced buildings and projects successfully designed by Danish architects and planners in Denmark’s major cities such as Copenhagen and Aarhus. Typical buildings of contemporary architecture in culture, housing, urban development, healthcare, education and commerce were highlighted. 48 large-size photos of such buildings/projects were exhibited in H2 Hall. Here, the public had a chance to get to know the projects and understand the achievements of the Danish people on the way to build Denmark as one of the happiest and most liveable countries in the world in which science and technology were applied to solve the most urgent problems, for instance environmental protection, efficient use of energy and resources and enhancement of the living quality.

Madam Charlotte Laursen – Ambassador of Denmark – made an opening speech at the exhibition

Madam Charlotte Laursen – Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam – spoke at the opening ceremony of the exhibition and hoped that the projects shown at the exhibition would inspire and encourage Vietnamese partners to build Vietnam as a green and sustainable country and pave the way for a closer cooperation between the two countries in exchanging green policies and sustainable solutions. She offered some books and publications on Danish architecture and urban planning to the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at the NUCE and Ashui.com Club in order to share the knowledge and experience in developing sustainable cities with Vietnamese students of architecture and architects, both theoretically and practically. 

The opening ceremony of the exhibition

The event continued with a conference on green architecture and water environment. At this conference, Danish and Vietnamese architects shared the experience and lessons with one another, including new solutions to build green and sustainable cities, as well as how to transformed waste water into a kind of resource.

The conference as an activity from a series of events organized

Also within the framework of “Danish Week – Solutions for Sustainable Cities” there was the final round of a competition called “Enhancing the awareness of green cities in Vietnam” in order to find out the best ideas in building or changing the perception of the public so that Vietnam would have more and more green and clean cities. The competition was co-organized by the Embassy of Denmark and the Network of Vietnamese Alumni in Denmark.

The competition "Enhancing the awareness of green cities in Vietnam"

Another interesting activity from the events was a master class for students and young lecturers focusing on sustainable solutions for urban areas. The master class attracted 66 students and young lecturers from the Faculties of Architecture and Planning, Environmental Engineering, SPEC Club from the Faculty of Civil and Industrial Construction at the NUCE and even students from the Faculty of Architecture at Hanoi Architectural University. The participants attended two lectures given by two Danish experts and the discussion session led by a group of lecturers from the Faculty of Architecture and Planning: Dr. Ta Quynh Hoa, Dr. Nguyen Quang Minh and MSc. Phung Thi My Hanh. The students were divided into several groups to discuss and find out the solutions in different aspects: planning, architecture, environment, engineering, etc. and they presented their concepts to experts and received their feedback. A movie entitled “Human Scale” was shown along with the course and helped the participants understand much better the specialists’ points of view in several areas of expertise in dealing with sustainability in urban development. After the course, the students received certificates from the Embassy of Denmark and the NUCE.

In order to bring the aforementioned exhibition closer to the public, on Saturday December 16th and Sunday December 17th 2017, all the photos were exhibited at the Square of King Ly Thai To and the pedestrian zone near Hoan Kiem Lake. The open-air exhibition attracted a great number of people, many of them were young. The exhibition helped enhance the awareness of the role of the public in building a green and clean city towards a people-friendly and environment-friendly city concept as a key factor in achieving sustainable development. 

Thanh Huyen – Faculty of International Education