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Hanoi-HCMC-Milan, July 8-9, 2021 - The 2021 edition of the Italian Design Day in Vietnam featured two hybrid webinars, one on the theme of urban regeneration and the other on that of technologies applied to the preservation of cultural heritage, both with keynote speeches by Arch. Massimo Roj (CMR), Ambassador of Italian design in Vietnam 2021.

The first webinar, entitled "Urban Regeneration", took place on July 8, with a control room set up at the National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE) in Hanoi. Massimo Roj, in VTC from Milan, illustrated his vision of social relations as a living nucleus of urban space, underlining how modern conceptual approaches to urban regeneration shy away from the protagonism of designers to focus on functional and cultural continuity and sustainability ("less ego, more eco"). This approach is evident in the projects carried out by Progetto CMR in Italy and Vietnam. These include the company's headquarters, the new "The Sign" office complex, the EXPO 2015 area, the New Stadium and San Siro district, all in Milan, and the Thanh Liet masterplan in Vietnam. Green spaces, reuse and accurate choice of materials, reduction of the use of resources act as cornerstones of a project capable of combining sociality and spatial safety, of enhancing cultural and identity continuity, as well as of integrating into the territorial context according to a model of "city" 'polycentric ". Roj also recalled the importance of the link between urban and rural areas and the Italian movement of "slow cities".

Prof. Le Quynh Chi, Deputy Director of the Department of Urban Planning at NUCE, showcased several urban redevelopment projects conducted by the students on the occasion of previous events co-organized by the Italian Embassy and Consulate General, such as the transformation of the Gia Lam railway station into Hanoi in a multifunctional and creative space.

The technology applied to the conservation of cultural heritage was instead the backdrop to the webinar the following day, July 9, whose control room was set up at the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Massimo Roj showcased urban regeneration projects carried out in Italy, Vietnam and China with a view to cultural contamination as a suitable factor, when correctly interpreted, not to trivialize the difficult search for an effective balance between tradition and modernity, especially in Asia. Among the projects on display, the Generator Hostels in Venice, the Vietnam House in Ho Chi Minh City and the Diamond Ville residential complex also in Ho Chi Minh City.

The restorer Giacomo Dini, who is active in Vietnam on behalf of the Institute for Art and Restoration "Palazzo Spinelli" in the recovery of Villa "La Voile" in Ho Chi Minh City, and Luigi Campanale, CEO of the SCE Project Asia studio, respectively illustrated the importance of a scientific approach in the conservation of cultural heritage artworks, and the peculiarities of the urban fabric of Ho Chi Minh City, where the vestiges of the past are less systematized and evident than in other Vietnamese historical centers such as Hanoi or Hue. Campanale presented an interesting redevelopment project of the Ben Thanh market area, carried out on the occasion of a competition held by the local municipality. The event then closed with a presentation, by a group of RMIT experts, of the urban planning approach adopted in District 4 of Ho Chi Minh City, in line with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda: sustainability - with an eye for future generations - inclusiveness, economic development and integration with the surrounding areas.

Integral video of 9 July’s webinar available here



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