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As reading “The Miserable” of Victor Hugo when I was a boy, I could not understand why people could live underground, in drains I imagined to be filled with dirty water.

Only when I saw the movie “The Wretched” did I understand how great was the Paris sewer. After then, every time I work in Tokyo, I enjoy standing in the subway station watching the life of Tokyo people. They were like pack of ants crawling up from the underground. Transportation, eating, and shopping are all happening underground. Their experts took me down to visit the fifth floor of the underground system. I realized that under the roads, other than houses, there are the basic infrastructure: electricity, communications, electric trains and, of course, water supply and drainage.

My 13-year-old daughter enjoy marking places she had passed on Google maps. Look at the Paris map, she amazed: “The streets were organized so well!” In comparison, she pointed to the dense block of houses and wondered: “Without the roads, how can they move around?” I was startled about the question. Interestingly, I found a similarity in the feelings of two children: me of the old days and my daughter about the underground and aboveground transportation system. To answer the these question need specific knowledge.

Over the past few days, the media has flooded with images of traffic jams in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Even a 13-year-old child can easily find out the imbalance and severely shortage of transportation infrastructure, which originated from the development from village to urban area in our country. Urbanization has pulled the inner towns and suburbs “toward the streets”. Existed sewer systems which only capable of collecting water into ponds, canals and can hardly expand. People are lack of transportation space, water is lack flowing route flooded all over the road. Flooding is inevitable.

Ensuring the city transportation, as well as the underground sewage system below it is as important as ensure the fluency of the blood vessels. They are like the circular system where the roads are arteries and underground structures are veins, the very basic elements in the infrastructure of any city. As a living body, the urban environment needs a healthy circular system.

It is abnormal that after 60 years in Hanoi, 40 years in Ho Chi Minh City, the population has increased 3-5 times along with the respectively increase of the construction density, yet the underground sewers remains the same.

The appearance of a city is the road, determine the civilization and spaciousness of the city. The health of a city lies in the sewer system, which makes people’s lives comfortable.

Before settling on the cramped building in the cramped city, think of the roads and sewers.

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