Source: Vientiane Times
A vacant plot of land in Luang Prabang city will be turned into a green space to enhance the urban environment.
According to the Luang Prabang News, the development is part of attempts to make Luang Prabang more green and eco-friendly, especially as it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and the authorities want tourism to be sustainable.
The site in question is south of Luang Prabang International Airport. The developer will turn it into a public park and green area as well as a place for the sale of flowers and saplings.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the project was signed recently by the Luang Prabang provincial Administration Office and Dork Pherng Garden Co., Ltd. Dork Pherng Garden Company will pay for all the development costs and hold a 15-year concession.
“The company submitted a proposal for the development of this site and we found that they have experience with sapling cultivation and garden landscaping, so we decided to go ahead with the project,” a provincial official said.
“The aim of the project is to improve the city and its appearance for visitors and local people. By making use of this site, we will reduce the cost of maintenance and cleaning by the government as well as prepare for the development of Luang Prabang as a smart city,” he added.
The old quarter of Luang Prabang, listed in 1995, is one of Laos’ three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The others are the Vat Phou temple complex in Champassak province, listed in 2001, and the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province, which was inscribed last year.
Luang Prabang was formerly the capital of the Lane Xang Kingdom and has been variously called Meuang Swa, Meuang Xiengdong and Meuang Xiengthong over the years. In 1353 King Fa Ngum brought the sacred Prabang statue to Meuang Viengkham, and in 1489 the revered Buddha image was moved to Meuang Xiengthong for public worship.
The name of the town was then changed to Meuang Luang Prabang in acknowledgement of the presence of the statue and has remained unchanged ever since.