The use of public spaces brings multiple benefits to youths:


Physical Activity

Fresh Air


Contact with Nature – Peer Support – Counter Isolation and Loneliness – Lifts Mood


Socialization Space – Relaxation Space – Urban Integration for Rural Migrants


Enjoy Natural Scenery – Place to Take Pictures


Free Recreation Space



Short term design interventions:

Integrating small, hard-surfaced areas in public gardens and on the shores of bodies of water that can accommodate active uses.
Creating more tree-shaded areas and installing more benches in public gardens and on the city’s lakeshores.

Longer term design actions:

Accessibility: removing entrance fees, creating more entry points located near the street, and making sure that there is at least one park located at a reasonable walking distance from each of the city’s residential areas.
Physical setting: In designing or redesigning parks design, aiming for a balance between the provision of flat, open, and hard surfaces to support unstructured sports activities, and quieter zones that are safe for even the most vulnerable users.
Users: favouring the diversity of users, rather than developing youth-only parks.
Detailed design guidelines: formulating a specific document to spell out design standards for each type of public space (parks, public gardens, and lakeshores) in order to maximize use, accessibility, security and conviviality of these places.

City-scale planning of public spaces:

Clarifying the target ratios of ‘public use greenery land’ for Hanoi (and other “special cities”) found in different policy documents.
Complementing the requirement to meet specific target ratios of public space (currently expressed in sq.m. in policy document) with geographic criteria related to the distribution, types, and quality of public spaces.
Acknowledging that different types of public spaces play different roles in city life and developing a network of public spaces that tap unto these complementarities.

Monitoring system (by local authorities):

Establishing policy measures requiring that formal permission from competent authorities be delivered before any physical or functional alteration to an existing lakeshore, park, or public garden takes place.
Establishing a monitoring system for bodies of water, parks and public gardens, i.e., maps of city-wide spaces, and detailed aerial photographs of each space.

Management of public spaces:

Private guards: Setting up mechanisms to ensure that guards protect all users and do not engage in practices that enhance their personal finances.
Vendors: Setting up rules and guidelines to structure vending activities (where they may set up, the maintenance of their facilities, and protect users from potentially harmful behaviours).

Parking: Establishing a flexible system of parking in different contexts.

  • Large parks (12 hectares and above) should be equipped with dedicated, guarded parking facilities, either on-site, or in the immediate vicinity of the park.
  • Smaller parks (less than 12 hectares), public gardens, and lakeshores should only provide users with access to off-site parking spaces.
  • Parking fees for bicycles should be waived in all dedicated parking spaces (on- and off-site) while fees should be maintained for motorbikes. In the medium- to long-term, plans should be made to better connect public spaces to the city’s public transit network and, potentially, to a bike lane network.

Research and development agenda:

Concerting efforts gather the opinions of different actors, such as youths, citizens belonging to other age groups, local authorities at the commune, district, and city levels, and urban planner and academics.
Focusing on suitable design guidelines and evidence-based policies: typology of public spaces, climate-sensitive design, publicness, and management.