When I was younger, Hanoi — then the capital of North Vietnam — was subject to massive bombing by the Americans. Between 1966 and 1972, a huge amount of ordnance was dropped on the city, causing citywide destruction. How times have changed!
The Vietnamese government has just announced the start of work on a subway transit system for Hanoi. They will build a 12-station 12.5 km line costing about $1 billion. The line is scheduled to be open by 2015 and is expected to carry 300,000 passengers a day to ease traffic congestion in the city. Financing is coming from the French Government ($384m). the Europe Investment Development Bank and the city’s state budget.
The very idea of an entrepreneurial Vietnam with the need for a major subway system financed by Western banks would have been simply unimaginable back in 1972. Perhaps we should take another look at some of today’s “disaster areas” and recognize that the future can be better than the present. Life does move on.