Photographer's Note


I have been asked how to define a dirtiest and cleanest city.

Well, I can’t.

• According to a recent survey by Houston Business Journal, Houston (where I am living) has been ranked as the nation's "cleanest city". The survey based on the number of vendors in the area selling cleaning services. In 2001, Houston is the “Dirtiest City” in the United States. Between 1996 and 1999, The American Lung Association gave Houston an “F” rating during its State of the Air Report for air quality when compared with other regions in the US.
Reader's Digest recently ranked Austin as the cleanest city in Texas and the eighth cleanest city in the nation. The magazine also ranked New York City the second dirtiest big city in the country, which Chicago winning honors for dirtiest.
• In Thimphu, the National Assembly of Bhutan arranged the cleaning campaign and the monk body, government and the Royal Advisory Councilors led by the Honorable Speaker Dasho Ugen Dorje along with some cabinet ministers participated.
• According to the World Bank, 16 of the planet's 20 dirtiest cities are in China, and Chongqing is one of the worst. Every year, the choking atmosphere is responsible for thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis.
• In 1983, Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, with eight million people, was declared "the dirtiest city in the world" by the Guinness Book of Records.
Mexico City has some of the dirtiest air on Earth. Its pollution levels are five times higher than those of Los Angeles. The World Resources Institute even dubbed it “the most dangerous city in the world for children.”
• Many travelers considered Singapore one of the cleanest cities: even the sale, possession and import of chewing gum is against the law.

Last year, I made a quick trek with brief stops at Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Siem Riep and Vientiane. It is not a rich or poor resident of the city, and it is never the mayor or the president of the “People Committee of the City” who cleans or keeps the city clean. It’s only the workers like my subject to continuously perform the sublime duty of maintaining their cities from stinking.

I have one picture of cleaning activity from each city in the alphabetical order taken during my itinerary to share with you…

Today is the picture of Hanoi. If you have been here, or have heard, please share your thought. Thanks.


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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