Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Sprinkling of New Parks

A handful of small parks have been popping up near Sukhbaatar Square. The best one is the plaza in front of the Shangri-La building. It has all the ingredients of an actual park - cobblestone walkways, a fountain, a grassy lawn and benches.

Attached to the plaza (between the plaza and the Lenin statue) is a new park that seems to have been built with money donated from Turkey. It also contains new walkways and a fountain. The Turks actually built their park on top of an existing park, but it’s a nice improvement.

Lastly, the little park on the east end of Juulchin Gudamj (opposite the KGB office) has been renovated. This park was built by one of Mongolia’s retired sumo wrestlers, which is why it has a slightly Japanese tea garden feel to it. It had been falling apart in recent years and was spruced up earlier this month.

I am holding out hope that the city of Ulaanbaatar will follow the example set by these private companies and donors and build some parks on its own dime. And hopefully the example set by Shangri-La, the Turks and the sumo wrestler will inspire other local companies to the same. My suggestion for any park builders out there – include a playground in your blueprints. UB's kids will thank you for it.

Here are some pics of the new parks…

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