Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Open Letter to the Concerned Residents of Ulaanbaatar

Children’s Park – Doomed?

Is the city of Ulaanbaatar, a metropolis with more than one million people, about to lose its one and only park? Its sounds hard to believe but come this time next year the park may be lost forever.

The Children’s Park was boarded up two years ago and has been closed ever since. The Japanese firm Itochu (along with Golomt Bank) said it planned to build an amusement park, which never came to be. Now, rumor has it, the park has been divided up and sold to developers (including MCS) who plan to turn it into another drab gated apartment complex.

This would be utterly tragic. As it stands now the city has barely an inch of open space to walk freely, exercise and breathe fresh air. Last summer I had a hard time keeping in shape because there was simply no place to jog – by 8am the streets were clogged with traffic and fumes. Not only had the Children’s Park closed by numerous other playgrounds and fields have been stolen by greedy real estate developers.

I longed for a park, jogging track or open field on which to stretch my legs. Alas, there was no where to go, save the distant outskirts of the city. Parks are an essential part of any city and one is desperately needed in Ulaanbaatar

This Children’s Park belongs to the people of the Ulaanbaatar. The parties responsible for the sale of this park should explain their reasoning for selling property belonging to the people of Mongolia and account for the monies earned by it. How much was the park sold for and will the money be put into developing new open space for the public? The people of Ulaanbaatar surely have the right to know the answers to these questions.

When discussing this matter with Mongolians I received a common response, shoulders would shrug, people would complain about corrupt officials but lament that it was “too late” to do anything. On the contrary, it is not too late. No buildings have been built on the Children’s Park so it is still very possible to revoke the building permits and save the park for future generations. But once building does get started it will be impossible to reverse the course of action and the park will be lost forever. Now is the time to act.

If you care about Ulaanbaatar, quality of life in the city and the health of its citizens, please act now to save the park. Copy this letter and forward it to concerned parties and Mongolia’s Members of Parliament. There is strength in numbers so the more people who react to this critical issue the better chance we have of saving the park. Make your voice be heard!

Thank you,

Michael Kohn

3 comments:

  1. Yoy, gants parkaa aldval hairtai saihan hot mini odoo yana aa. Duu nar mini huuhdiin bayaraar haana ochij toglono oo? Ard tumen eserguitseed jagsana l doo, ene arai heterch baigaa yum chini. Ene uls torchid ichij uheesee bilee.

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  2. THANK YOU! so true. guys we gotta unite against this issue.

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  3. gehdee ted barag bariad ehelchihsen baiga abizdee bid odoonoos ard tumend zarlaj tedniig urialah heregtei. manai huuhed parkaar yavah durtai. yagaad gevel ulaanbaatart baigaa gantsah baigaliin togol oi mayagaar hadgalsan gazar bolohoor bas tend baigaa shuvuud ch hurtel alga bolno. manai mongold ard tumniihee eruul enh saihnii toloo ajillaj baigaa hun gej baina uu. ter olon saihan mod hurtel alga bolnogeheer haruusmaar uilmaar yomaa.

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