Hanoi/The State and People Policy

BOOK: Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi.

AUTHOR: Danielle Labbé

Bibliography: Labbé, D. (2014). Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi, 1920-2010. UBC Press.
Bibliography: Labbé, D. (2014). Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi, 1920-2010. UBC Press.

In the chapter VI, the book provides a very intriguing perspective containing political, social, urban and architectural aspects into the transforming period (1980s, 1990s) of Hanoi. It has very complete and detailed narration about the changing point of the housing policy and housing types, about the State and People policy in 1987. This policy was implemented in the background of housing insufficiency and thus, it became an official event to promote both the informalization of formal collective housing and the formalization of informal tube housing.

Starting from the transformation of a small village in the periphery of Hanoi, the book then goes to larger scales and the whole background following time line. Though the author is not a Vietnamese, many people in Hanoi like the local residents and local bureaucrats have offered help and Vietnamese assistants provided references in Vietnamese to give a higher quality and reliability of the narration and argument.


Chapter VI: The New Urban Territorial Order (1980-2010)

The State and People Work Together, P.102-107

“The housing shortage reached levels that threatened the legitimacy and stability of a regime already weakened by the economic crisis briefly outlined at the beginning of this chapter. In 1987, the state recognized the insufficiency of its resources and cancelled its subsidized housing program. In line with many other first-stage policy reforms, it opted to decentralize some of its power. The urban housing question was therefore reframed in terms of a policy known as the “State and People Work Together” (Nhà nước và nhân dân cùng làm), whereby, for the first time since independence, private stakeholders were formally invited to produce their own housing.” (p.103)

“The State and People policy also opened the way to new informal practices, such as the modification of older collective housing buildings and encroachment on public spaces or on periurban agricultural land.” (p.103)

Within this rather open-ended and loose policy environment, the city’s precolonial, colonial, and socialist areas were also mended and woven back together. This occurred through the restoration of old buildings, the rehabilitation of the imagery of the French city, the spontaneous conversion and transformation of collective housing compounds into vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods, and the endogenous development of new housing styles that drew on the city’s historical forms.” (p.104-5)


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