Challenges of sustainable urban development. Photo book by Michael Waibel, Hamburg university.
Approaching Da Nang by plane, one immediately feels drawn to the long curving coastline: a white sandy beach like an endless ribbon bordering the deep blue of the sea with its colorful scattering of fishing boats. A wide curve, and on the approach to the new international airport a view of the skyline of a modern metropolis, with its striking high-rise city hall, generous sports facilities, wide streets and numerous bridges that soar over the river. From fishing village to eco-city is Da Nang’s success story in a nutshell.
Behind this success lies consummate city planning which has succeeded in harmonizing dynamic growth with an infrastructure designed for sustainability and a high quality of life for its citizens. “Green growth”, a much-quoted concept, is here implemented in exemplary fashion. This makes Da Nang not only interesting for international investors but an expanding university city and a tourist magnet as well. Another plus for the booming tourism is its proximity to the ancient royal capital of Hue, with its imperial tombs surrounded by parklands, and the trading town of Hoi An, which seems frozen in time. A comparison of the urban structures of Hoi An, Hue and Da Nang thus spans centuries of turbulent history reaching to the present day. Da Nang, the powerhouse in the center of Vietnam, is poised to become an important driving force for the further dynamic development of the entire country.
Book launch in Da Nang
"Da Nang: Coastal City" will be launched in the municipal library in Da Nang on March 28, 7 PM. Admission is free.
Michael Waibel is a senior researcher and project leader in urbanism at the Department for Geography of the University of Hamburg. In 2014, he co-published the photo book “TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City” together with Henning Hilbert from the Vietnamese-German University (VGU) and in 2015 he published the photo book “Hà Nội: CAPITAL City” which got awarded with the “2015 Bùi Xuân Phái – For Love Hà Nội”-Award in the category “best works”.
The third book of this series introducing now about Da Nang’s recent urban development has an attractive coffee table book format and has been published in three languages, in Vietnamese, German and English. It contains over 600 photos illustrating the dynamic city from a variety of perspectives – from bird’s eye views to portraits of its inhabitants. In addition to the visual illustrations, this publication has assembled some essays by local residents. The whole publication is targeting a wide audience. The work is based on many years of academic work stretching back till the late 1990s. Among others it got funded by the German National Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the initiative “Research for Sustainable Megacities of Tomorrow”. Further, a series of conferences in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut has been organized, which dealt with urban sustainability issues, green housing, green growth and most recently with creative hubs and urban development.
During the launching event the editor Michael Waibel will highlight the rationale behind the photo book “Đà Nẵng: COASTAL City“. A more academic input will be provided by a lecturer of Danang University of Architecture. He will give a talk about challenges of green city development in Da Nang.
The photo book can be purchased after the talk, and there will be two complimentary copies of the book disbursed to the lucky winners of a draw. Last but not least, a series of selected photos illustrating the recent urban development of Vietnam’s most important coastal city will be exhibited.
The development of this photo book has been made possible by the exclusive sponsorship of AUDI Vietnam.