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Ho Chi Minh City faces tough road for renaming streets

Friday, November 11, 2016, 10:03 GMT+7

Recently published research has revealed that Ho Chi Minh City may be in need of over 2,100 new names for streets that were improperly titled, causing confusion and negatively impacting the city’s urban aesthetic.

The study was presented by the Center for Urban and Development Studies at a meeting with leaders from the municipal People’ Committee on Wednesday.

A survey conducted by the group of researchers pinpointed multiple issues with street names across the city, including streets sharing the same name or carrying meaningless or obscene titles.

In Ho Chi Minh City, like other localities in Vietnam, streets are typically named after national heroes and heroines in honor of their significant contributions to Vietnam and its history.

Among the 3,600 roads crisscrossing Saigon, many have been wrongly named, including Tran Khac Chan and Ha Ton Quyen, meant to be Tran Khat Chan and Ha Tong Quyen, respectively.

The research also drew attention to the hundreds of streets in the city which share their name with another, creating confusion and uncertainty amongst commuters.

For instance, there is a small Nguyen DInh Chieu Street in Phu Nhuan District besides the 4km Nguyen Dinh Chieu that connects Da Kao Ward, District 1 with District 3. There are also two Cao Thang streets, one in Phu Nhuan and another in District 10.

Other street names, such as Kenh Nuoc Den (Black Canal), were reported to be creating a certain negative impact on the aesthesis of the city.

Researchers involved in the study also recommended renaming roads with meaningless titles or named after people who hadn’t contributed to the country, including Nguyen Thi Lam and Phan Thi Ho which were named after two fictional Vietnamese heroic mothers.

Certain measures should also be carried out to inform local citizens of plans to rename the streets, they added.

New ways to name streets

Though the group of researchers stated that a name change was absolutely necessary for 400 roads in the city, there were an additional 1,774 roads that they recommended changing.

The 2,174 streets are just the tip of the iceberg.  With 810 new roads expected to open in the city by 2025 preparing the city for street name changes could be significantly more difficult.

The experts suggested new ways to name the city’s streets, including borrowing names from Vietnam’s islands, such as Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly), which have already been used along canals in the metropolis.

Notable foreigners whose accomplishments heavily influenced humanity or Vietnam were also recommended to be honored with street names.

Flowers, animals, natural phenomenon, scientific theories, and other nouns relating to politics, culture, and society might also be fitting for certain streets the researchers recommended.

According to Nguyen Thi Thu, vice-chairwoman of the municipal administration, renaming the streets would require a suitable progression plan to minimize its effects on people’s lives and reduce costs.

Competent authorities will also review new ways to title the city’s roads and expand its name bank for the future, Thu added.

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