Baku Urban Planning Development Discussed at a Regular Plenary Meeting held by the Management Board of Azerbaijan Union of Architects
On 7 May 2019, the Management Board of the Azerbaijan Union of Architects held a plenary meeting dedicated to the development of Baku City urban planning.
Attending the plenary meeting, Samir Nuriyev, the Chairman of the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture, welcomed the participants and he said that there is a symbolic value in timing the Union of Architects’ meeting with the Birthday Anniversary of the Nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev and that the meeting is dedicated to the future development of the Capital city. As the architect of the modern-day Azerbaijani state, Heydar Aliyev paid paramount attention to the development of urban planning and architecture throughout the country and, in particular, in the city of Baku. The great leader particularly emphasized the crucial role of the scientific approach to urban planning and continuous construction activities in the city of Baku.
As the worthy successor of the nationwide Leader’s ideals, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev carries out a successful policy in all areas, including urban planning, construction, and architecture. Based on the President’s instructions, the large-scale construction and improvement activities take place throughout all cities and settlements, including the construction of engineering, communications, and social infrastructure as well as new residential complexes.
A broad scope of activities is conducted to ensure the preservation of the country’s historic and cultural heritage. Samir Nuriyev particularly emphasized the indispensable role played by the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva in ensuring the preservation and popularization of the country’s national and cultural heritage.
Samir Nuriyev said:
“It is due to the personal leadership and supervision of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev that, in the past years, large-scale improvement and reconstruction projects have successfully been implemented to make Baku an eminent and one of the world’s most beautiful cities both in terms of its professionally preserved rich historic and architectural heritage as well as its modern architecture and infrastructure. I believe it is commendable that today’s plenary meeting is dedicated to the topic of Baku urban planning development. Following the instruction of Mr. President, the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture is currently conducting the Baku City Master Plan development process participated by reputable international organizations and, most importantly, engaging Azerbaijani society and local professionals. We are pleased that the Azerbaijan Union of Architects actively participates in all phases of the Baku City Master Plan development process.”
The Baku City Master Plan development process comprises 2 phases that envisage large-scale operations, Chairman said.
Based on the respective Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated 27 June 2018, the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture will ensure the full compliance of the Baku City Master Plan development process with the international standards and apply the best international experience to producing a high-quality Master Plan content by hiring the Boston Consulting Group, i.e. one of the most reputable global strategic consulting companies referred to as “G3.”
The Committee Chairman drew the attention of the plenary meeting participants to the fact that Phase 1 implied the development of the Baku City Master Plan in line with the relevant international experience and modern global trends in the area, and determination of the major priorities of Baku urban development process. At the same time, an open tender took place during Phase 1 to select an international urban planning company that will ensure the development of the Baku City Master plan in line with comprehensive terms of reference. A reputable German urban planning company, AS+P has won the tender for Baku City Master Plan maker in compliance with the decision of the Tender Commission consisting of representatives of SCUPA, relevant governmental agencies, and public figures. Thus, we launched Phase 2 of the project, Chairman said. Then, he added the following:
“Yesterday, the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture held the first working meeting to discuss the project’s 2nd phase, future steps, and details of the oncoming process with all project participants, i.e. AS+P and Boston Consulting Group as well as the Baku State Design Institute. Today, the project implementors met with you, the architects of Azerbaijan. I am confident that all the stakeholders present here, including representatives of the competent state bodies, public associations, and independent experts will make their valuable contribution to ensure the highest possible quality of the Baku City Master Plan. Of special importance will be our coordinated interaction throughout the different stages of the process, including the collection of relevant information, integration, and implementation of the future Master Plan.”
Then, the floor was given to Ilqar Isbatov, Director of the Baku State Design Institute. He provided information on the Baku Development Concept and drew the participants’ attention to 4 major priorities to be reflected in the Baku City Master Plan. These 4 priorities are as follows:
- To ensure sustainable development of Baku City through the balanced zoning and develop alternative centers and sub-centers while maintaining the traditional city center;
- To ensure regeneration of the city and its environment, effective use of city area, and provide the population with comfortable living conditions;
- To preserve the city’s national and cultural heritage, architectural beauty, and cultural richness;
- To ensure the post-industrial transition of city economics.
While drafting the Baku City Development Concept, a survey was conducted among local specialists and Baku inhabitants to learn about the attitude and concerns they have about their city, Ilqar Isbatov highlighted. The information about people's expectations concerning the future of Baku City will be taken into consideration during the next phase of the Baku City Master Plan development process, he emphasized.
When given the floor, Joachim Schares, Managing Director of AS+P, informed the participants on the global trends in the area of urban planning. He particularly emphasized such challenges as the significant pace of city population growth, maintaining a balance between the city and its agglomerations as well as the need to ensure sustainable management of globalization as the attribute of the modern-day world. He pointed out that the major goal of his company is not only to apply the international urban planning principles in Baku but to take into account the inherent peculiarities of the city and preserve its historic appearance. For this reason, it was important to ensure the engagement of local experts. In the framework of AS+P’s activities, the company plans to establish close cooperation with the Baku State Design Institute and local professionals.
After the speeches and presentations, the participants partook of broad discussions and exchanged their views.