‘Redefine the skyline’: how Ho Chi Minh City is erasing its heritage

The next 15 megacities #7: More than a third of the Vietnamese city’s historic buildings have been destroyed over the past 20 years. Can it learn from mistakes made by other fast-growing Asian cities before it is too late?

“People don’t realise what they’ve lost,” says Candy Nguyen as she peers through the locked gates of what was until recently the historic Ba Son shipyard. “Many don’t even know what was here before.”

Ho Chi Minh City’s oldest and most important maritime heritage site is hidden from the street by high blue hoardings peppered with slogans such as “Never still” and “Redefine the skylines”.

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