hanoi18 April 2018
How do young adults in Hanoi, Vietnam perceive, interact with, and negotiate the changing urban landscape they are set to inherit?
Madeleine Hykes’ Research Project:
Urban inhabitants are constantly shaping and being shaped by individual identities and livelihoods, collective experiences, and the built environment. This project aims to better understand how young adults (18-30) in Hanoi, Vietnam perceive, interact with, and negotiate the changing urban landscape they are set to inherit. Youth, the city’s largest demographic body, are coming of age in an urban space produced by an interweaving of competing and collaborating neoliberal and socialist ideals. Hanoi’s proposed Master Plan, released in 2011, details a Vietnamese city that is connected, green, ‘modern’ and, above all, an ideal urban environment. Despite significant changes across economic, social and political spheres, plans and other formal avenues obfuscate the everyday experiences of the urban inhabitant as these changes occur and take hold. Concurrently, the urban spaces that young people frequent often straddle the boundaries of public and private, inclusion and exclusion. Based on qualitative fieldwork conducted in the summer of 2017, this project presents the opinions and experiences of 39 youth on planned alterations to urban limits, peri-urban development, public transportation, green spaces, and sidewalk access. Through support, modification, compliance and avoidance, youth engage with a range of covert and unintentional maneuvers that shape themselves and the built environment to meet their collective ideals and individual needs.
Supervisor: Sarah Turner, McGill University