The information was released by Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Antonino Alessandro at a press conference in Hanoi on March 13. An academic workshop was held on March 11 at the Hanoi Architectural University (HAU), discussing issues related to the conservative urban design of Vietnam’s capital city. Accordingly, the participants discussed the nature and future of the Hanoi old quarter based on the analysis of Hoan Kiem Lake – one of the most famous destinations. The workshop will continue with a series of lectures for 5 days at HAU Campus and the best projects will be displayed at the Thang Long Citadel on March 20. Also on the day, the Italian Design Day will be celebrated with a seminar on the strategies, techniques and technologies applicable to the conservation of historical heritages. One day later, a closed-door symposium between enterprises and investors will highlight the ‘economic benefits’ from the conservation and reuse of historical relic sites. Ambassador Antonino Alessandro said that the event in Hanoi is part of an ambitious programme which will touch the most important cities in Southeast Asia. It aims to contribute to the debate on the necessity to develop Hanoi into a ‘smart city’ as well as the conservation of architectural, historic and cultural heritages, especially looking at a sustainable development of the tourism sector.