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Handbook of Religion and the Asian CityAspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281226

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Dealing with the Dragon

Dealing with the Dragon

Urban Planning in Hanoi

(p.186) 10 Dealing with the Dragon
Handbook of Religion and the Asian City

Tam T. T. Ngo

University of California Press

This chapter examines the religious and utopian nature of urban planning in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi's cityscape can be read as a text that discusses political, economic, social, and cultural processes and the functions of culture itself. Like elsewhere, urban planning in Hanoi may appear technical, scientific, and secular in its birthplaces—the offices of professional planning bureaus. This chapter first considers the metaphysics of urban planning, with particular emphasis on how urban planning is intertwined with utopianism. It then discusses two of many episodes that occurred in the process of realizing a new master plan to make Hanoi a modern megacity. It also places the discourse of Hanoi urban planning in a theoretical debate about urban religiosity to stress the consequences of urban renewal in Hanoi for sacred geography, national history, and political transition in contemporary Vietnam.

Keywords:   urban planning, Hanoi, Vietnam, metaphysics, utopianism, master plan, religiosity, urban renewal, sacred geography, national history

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