Thursday, July 8, 2010

We Have a Plan

I popped by the Ulaanbaatar Planning Office today for a streets and parks update. The department is located inside the City Hall building, the large black glass structure on the west side of Sukhbaatar Square. I have visited the department a number of times, but had never been to their display room. Got a chance to see it today.

The display room is on the 13th floor of this building. Here you can see the department's maps, models and design schematics. The plans include the redevelopment of entire districts, the construction of industrial parks, recreation areas and highways. This is no joke. Serious work had been put into these models and I must admit that I was pretty impressed by their plans. Whether or not the city can find the money to actually put any of these plans into action is a different matter altogether, but for now it’s just nice to dream. If you’ve got an interest in town planning of the future of UB (and if you are reading this blog you probably do), then take a gander down to City Hall and check out this impressive exhibit.

Here are a few of the projects they have on display:
*Plans for new pay parking areas: Sukhbaatar Square, Builders Square, next to the New Children’s Palace and other areas. (should not be to hard to implement)
*Big Ring Road – essentially a highway that will encircle downtown. It includes overpasses to get over the railway and a new road that skirts south of the Naadam Stadium (Construction of this project has already started but could take years to finish)
*Riverside Park – along the north bank of the Tuul River. (One of their best ideas. This will promote green spaces and outdoor activities)
*New district around the airport featuring a modern sports stadium (the stadium is nearly finished)
*Modernization of the ger district the circles Gandan Monastery (would take a long time to move residents out)
*Construction of an enormous Buddhist monument on the hill behind Gesar Sum. (This project has been in the planning stages for over 10 years)
*Construction of a national park in the southeast corner of the city. (Looks like this will go ahead, but will take several years to complete).
*Several schematics for the redevelopment of the districts on the outskirts of the city (we're decades away from these to see the light of day).

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