The increasing number of foreign arrivals to Hanoi, prove enchantment of the capital city is not only its cultural and historical sites of thousands of years, but also the integration and creativity based on  foundation of a thousand year civilization.

Phung Hung mural street/ Photo: Lai Tan

Lively creative hubs

Nowadays, visitors to Hanoi can immerse themselves in a world ideal creative spaces such as pedestrian areas around Hoan Kiem Lake and Trinh Cong Son, Phung Hung mural street, Ly Thuong Kiet book street, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Thong Nhat Park and a number of museums, cultural houses, and so on.

They are called cultural and artistic community spaces. At weekends, people usually go to the streets around Hoan Kiem Lake to  promenade  and enjoy art shows performed by local and international troupes. “Check-in” and wandering around for hours in the bookstores at December 19 street (also known as the Book Street) is also a favorite option for young people.

If you want more tranquil places, you can find small creative areas created by the Hanoians. It is a cultural and artistic creative space of a book cafe in a small apartment building at 27A Dang Dung called The Blue Bird’s Nest or exchange seminars on small-scale art education models at CUCA. All are defined in the category of cultural and artistic creative hubs,architectural creative spaces, designs and handicrafts, public spaces, start-up support and digital initiatives.

Hanoi is the leading locality in the country in the number of creative spaces with artistic zones such as  Hanoi Creative City, Heritage space, The Vuon… With the current urbanization speed, it is expected that more such places will be set up every year.

Creativity “made in Hanoi”

Hanoi Book Street/ Photo: Thanh Hai

The creativity should not base on  high rises and vibrant industrial parks, but on the foundation of a thousand-year cultural heritage with the soul of Hanoi’s elegant civilization.

The spirit of “homemade” or “heritation” is really a creative value if the artists know how to  exploit, for example, they could create works from the experience of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. In addition, the subliminal  layers of cultural and historical heritages have not been systematically studied so as for aliens  to be able to understand  the true values of Hanoi. A special feature of creativity is the people of Hanoi.

In addition to the common characteristics, Hanoians are always open, tolerant, friendly, sophisticated, flexible, and creative. The people of Hanoi are the most sustainable assurance for the construction and development of the creative city, ensuring successful operation and connection, according to Dr. Phan Dang Long, Former Deputy Head of Hanoi Party Committee of Education and Communication. 

After being listed by UNESCO in the network of Creative Cities of the world, Hanoi citizens never stop creating for their city, so that this place becomes more and more worth   living. As committed to UNESCO, in the next four years, Hanoi will have to build three action programs of international scale and three action programs at the national and city’s levels.

Talking about the policy of building Hanoi as a Creative City, Head of  Education and Communication Committee  of Hanoi Party Committee Nguyen Van Phong said: “Hanoi has built a start-up program with plans to support organizations and individuals, especially young people, in the technology field who have bright ideas. In terms of cultural space development, Hanoi is striving from now to 2030 to have about 25 new parks, in which there are spaces to display and introduce creative art works of Hanoi artists”.

Along with that, Hanoi has also considered opening more pedestrian space, holding more cultural and artistic activities to improve the spiritual life as well as promote and inspire more creativity in the community.

“Hanoi is a city of adaptability. In some ways, the customization of creativity can be considered disorderly and unsustainable. But in terms of development, creativity opens up opportunities for change and new things. Development also requires creative workers to ask themselves what they do to surpass themselves  and create their own identity value in the city. ” – Writer Nguyen Truong Quy.

“If it is asked if Hanoi is a Creative City, I would like to affirm with certainty: Yes. Hanoi is an ancient land with residents on the banks of To Lich River. The interior was built up gradually by the fertile alluvial source of the Red River and the population was gradually growing. Becoming a residential area of many classes of people, Hanoi gradually became the economic and cultural center of the whole Northern Delta region as well as the cradle of creativity in which the people gather here are the quintessence from  all regions of the country.

Crafts thrive, cementing the fame of “Ke Market”, with residents who are “skillful craftsmen”. Also from here, craft villages and trade streets were formed and prospered, typically the area “36 old streets with the name beginning with the word “Hang” ( guild)… They can be evidences of creative hubs of ancient Hanoi. “- Former Deputy Head of Hanoi Party Committee Education and Communication Commission, Dr. Phan Dang Long.