Many young people of Hanoi have brought out their strengths via the building of creative hubs since the city joined in the Creative Cities Network, a project initiated by the UN organizations in 2019.

Three UN organizations including UNESCO, UNIDO and UN Habitat have recently organized a series of consultancy workshops under the project “Mobilizing Cultural Dynamics and Youth Participation for Hanoi Creative Capital” to harness Hanoi’s cultural assets and youth participation as key agents for innovation, creativity, and social change.

As a member of the creative city network, Hanoi has implemented activities following the criteria and roadmap committed to UNESCO despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Yeu Hanoi

Since Hanoi joined the network of creative cities in 2019, the young people in the capital city have brought out their strengths through participating in the process of building creative hubs, performing the city’s guidelines, policies and plans.

The role of the youth

As a member of the creative city network, Hanoi has implemented activities following the commitment to UNESCO to place culture and creativity at the core of its sustainable development with a wider vision to become a leading creative hub of Southeast Asia, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, many events have been held such as Hanoi Culinary and Tourism Festival, Folk Festival in Contemporary Life, Intangible Culture Performance, Street Festival, Monsoon International Music Festival, Hanoi Creative Space Design, Km0 Design Competition, among others.

Such events have always counted with the participation of  the young people  the organization and implementation. The success of the mobilization of the youth participation has brought new and updated angles which make each project in particular and the whole urban area in general become more attractive, according to Associate Professor – Doctor Bui Hoang Son, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Art Studies.

Experts from the project of “Mobilizing cultural resources and the participation of young people to develop Hanoi into the Capital of Creativity”. Photo: Minh An

May experts hold that  when participating in these activities, young people have contributed different perspectives and knowledge to create attractions and driving forces for the development of the capital.

In the event “Hanoi Creative Week”, young people and groups of students turn the icons  of Hanoi such as Turtle Tower, Opera House, pedestrian overpasses and so on, into art works.

Through innovative ideas, young people have made simple works attractive places of the city. The contest “Sketch of the Temple of Literature”,  though being held for the first time, attracted a lot of young applicants, showing the young generation’s interest in the country’s traditional and cultural values. It gave them more playground for harnessing their passion for painting, contributing to preserving Vietnam’s cultural heritage.

The contest is among a number of activities to also turn the Temple of Literature into a creative space and fulfill Hanoi’s commitment to UNESCO for the development of creative spaces. “If we know how to attract the attention and participation of young people in these creative activities, it will create a rebirth of culture and a new motivation to draw greater people’s engagement and visitors,” said Mr. Son.

Creative education

The project “Mobilizing Cultural Dynamics and Youth Participation for Ha Noi Creative Capital” comprises three components including urban recreation, creative education and cultural resources. Among them, the role of creative education is emphasized by many specialists as Hanoi can only develop creativity by promoting the education on creativity.

Hanoi at night. Photo: Lai Van Hop

However, giving students creative energy is a weakness that the city must address. In school, students are still taught a lot of theory but little practice leading to the lack motivation for creativity. So, model changes and creative education are the way to go.

“When a creative city is built, education should be creative as well. These two things must go together and create conditions for each other. Creative education can be implemented in many ways, through arts, application of technology and so on. The key is to train people who have passion and desire for creativity,” Mr. Son shared his view.

When a young passionate generation is formed, millions of people, including Hanoi residents and tourists, will have not only the access to the history, culture and relics of the thousand-of-year-old city but also the opportunity to experience new and innovative cultural products and services.

At the same time, the young people will be the center of the new collaborative environment in the creative industry. Vietnamese creative talents, especially young creators, are empowered to contribute to and influence Hanoi’s development programs.