Before the development of roads, the Red River was fundamentally important in facilitating trade between Hanoi and other parts of Vietnam. While Hanoi is nestled into a bend of the river, the city’s growth has cut it off from this waterway, largely due to a heavily traversed arterial road (pictured below) that disconnects the city from the central part of its riverside.
|Yen Phu Road separates Hanoi from the Red River.|
|Long Bien Market|
|Informal housing next to Long Bien Market|
|Floating houses on the Red River|
|Woman working her family's fields on the island in the Red River|
|Floating houses on the west side of the island|
This massive redevelopment project will require relocating 39,100 households (170,000 people), begging the question of what will happen to people living in informal housing next to the river or in floating houses on the river. Equally uncertain is the fate of people who farm on the island — the plan slates agricultural land there for "leisure and tourism." While the plan has been controversial, it is currently stalled due to the financial crisis. Time will tell what comes of it.
Credits: Photos by Melissa García Lamarca. Images of Red River redevelopment plans from Tran Hoai Anh.