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By Finenco Architects

Tokyo Street|Residential

Mongolian Star Melchers|Commercial

SOHO IT Center

Shym Group

Shunkhlai Residential

Post Bank

Park Inn Hotel

Novotel Hotel

Noble Properties

MAK Tower

New Sport Complex

Mack Center

Le Due Torri

JN Motors Residential

Embassy Tower


607 Posts
If those all get built.....Ulaanbataar will have some incredibly striking architecture! And all these projects would actually give Ul. a skyline, it's rather low rise from what I understand?

27,360 Posts
Awesome projects :)

4,374 Posts
very unique design and architecture...

128,898 Posts
Ulan Bator Pitches Plan for Tent Cities
South China Morning Post
OCTOBER 8, 2009

On the gritty outskirts of Ulan Bator, where heavy trucks lumber along pot-holed roads and packs of mangy dogs patrol garbage-strewn alleys, a shiny new billboard is attracting curious onlookers.

The sign describes an ambitious plan to modernize the neighborhood, the 11th ward of Bayanhoshuu District, raising it from slum-like conditions to the first-world in a flash.

A “before” image on the sign shows the neighborhood’s current layout of uneven streets, dead-ends and labyrinth of alleyways. To the right, an “after” image promises a sort of American suburbia experience of neatly trimmed lawns, sidewalks and quaint bungalows in the shade of poplar trees.

“This is our dream,” says community organizer Lhamsuren Ragchabazar. “If we can redesign the neighborhood people will have more conveniences and a better standard of living.”

The plan may sound like fantasy for this poor country, but Ragchabazar was undeterred. A crafty land readjustment scheme, he explains, will fund the project.

Residents are being asked to give a portion of their property, fences will be moved closer together and the excess land will be sold to raise money for much-needed infrastructure like roads and plumbing.

“One needs to give up something in order to get something better in return,” says Hirano Ryuko, a project advisor for JICA, which is supporting the government initiative. “Properties will be smaller but will have more value if the neighborhood is in better shape.”

But only a handful of the families in the neighborhood have signed up for the plan.

“Land readjustment programs take 10 to 15 years,” says Tsedendash Tulga, the head of Ulan Bator’s Land Management and Planning Division. “It can take that long just to change the mind of the community.”

And so it goes for Ulan Bator’s amoeba-like outer districts, which have sprawled out of control over the past two decades. Migrants from rural Mongolia have flooded the capital in search of work; most of the new arrivals end up in peri-urban settlements like Bayanhoshuu.

They bring with them their gers, the round felt tents used by nomads. The widespread use of the ger gives the districts a sense of impermanence, as if the residents may just pack up and return to the steppes one day. The wood fences dividing the gers create a maze of walls reminiscent of frontier outposts of the American west.

The tents are not new to the city. Since its early days in the mid-1600s the residents had a habit of moving the town every few years, until it eventually came to rest at its current location in 1778. Traditionally the gers were set up like a protective ring around the main monastery, Gandantegchinlin. The city grew rapidly during 20th century when Soviet town planners arrived with blueprints for a modern urban core. But most of the ger districts remained, expanded into valleys.

Migrants continue to arrive and occupy any possible patch of earth, often in flood prone areas. Last July eight people in Ulan Bator died in floods when their gers, placed in steep sided gullies, were washed away.

The uncontrolled growth of the ger areas means that no space has been set aside for roads, let alone basic necessities such as underground sewerage systems.

In Bayanhoshuu, residents line up outside a pump house for water, which they cart it home in plastic barrels. Hot showers can be had at a local bathhouse, though it’s too small to accommodate the needs the 10,000 district residents.

“It’s a difficult life because we have to go a long way for water,” says Puruvdulam Tsetsegee, a retired state employee who lives in the neighborhood. “And showers are very expensive. We have a family of six and each shower costs Tg1800 ($1.25). On top of this we have buy food and other necessities so it really adds up.”

Problems are exacerbated in winter when temperatures plummet to minus 30 degrees Celsius. Residents keep warm by burning coal or wood in their pot-bellied stoves, although this of little use during midnight runs to the nearest outhouse.

In winter, the accumulated soot caused by tens of thousands of stoves creates an appalling black cloud that engulfs the entire city. This winter an estimated 700,000 tons of coal is needed to supply the city’s 160,000 ger district families.

The situation is not helped by Ulaanbaatar’s topography – it’s almost completely surrounded by low mountains that trap the poisonous air until a strong wind can blow it away.

The smog has had detrimental affects on the health of the population. The number respiratory diseases among children under five is three times greater in Ulaanbaatar compared to children living outside the city.

Planners say the long-term goal is to install central heating in the ger districts, thereby reducing their dependence on coal. But that could take decades.

The task of sorting out this mess has been left to Tulga, who occupies a small office in Ulan Bator’s gleaming new City Hall. He said almost three quarters of city residents live in ger districts and the challenge of moving them to apartments is hampered by the increasing numbers of new migrants.

“It is difficult to control migration. The people have a constitutional right to live where ever they want so we can’t stop them from moving to the capital,” Tulga explains.

A lack of zoning laws means that newly arrived to pitch their tents where ever they please. The city is dealing with that problem by dividing the ger districts into three categories.

Zone One, closest to the urban core, will be transformed into mixed-use housing with apartments and commercial areas. Zone Two, slightly farther out, will remain ger districts, only better organized and connected to the urban infrastructure. Zone Three, mainly the new developments on the outskirts, will be torn down and returned to its natural state.

People currently living in Zone Three will be moved to other parts of the city, increasing the density of the capital but reducing the sprawl that has wrought environmental problems like pollution and land degradation.

The urban crush has had a ripple effect on Ulan Bator’s city center, where once empty boulevards now teem with Korean taxis, Humvees and Landcruisers. During the mid-day rush hour it can take 30 minutes to drive three kilometers across the city center.

“We cannot blame one person, like the mayor the prime minister. Every city worker is jointly responsible for these issues. We all have to come together to solve these problems,” said Tulga.

The city has recently given him a boost by installing streets lights around back alleys of
Bayanhoshuu. Some of the lights are solar-powered, part of a government effort to use environmentally friendly technology.

But despite the token gestures by City Hall, Tulga admits the onus is on the public to reform their own neighborhoods.

“The main purpose of the pilot project is to show the community that it can work with the city to make necessary changes for a better life,” he said.

128,898 Posts
ULAN BATOR | Projects & Construction

ADB to fund Ulan Bator's Bus Rapid Transit system to ease traffic

ULAN BATOR, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank will provide a multi-tranche loan to help build a Bus Rapid Transit system in Ulan Bator, local media reported Wednesday.

The loan, worth up to 217.4 million U.S. dollars, will be used to develop the bus system in three phases to relieve the capital city's severe traffic congestion, local media said.

The ADB said on its website that 7.7 km of road and 14 km of electric trolleybus infrastructure will be upgraded in the first phase of the program and a bridge will also be expanded to install a bus rapid transit corridor.

In the second phase, three additional bus depots will be built and 11.1 km of trolleybus infrastructure will be upgraded. The final phase, which will be completed by 2020, includes a further expansion of the system, the report said.X Traffic congestion has become a severe social problem facing the Mongolian government. Measures such as massive road construction and renovations have been started over the past few years and a traffic control based on license plate numbers took effect Aug. 27. However, the city's crowded streets remain largely unchanged.

Ulan Bator's population has doubled from about 600,000 people in 1989 to more than 1.2 million in 2010 and the number of registered vehicles has increased 4.4 times from 1998. The increase has posed tough challenges for the government to better manage the city's traffic system.

The ADB said the multi-tranche loan is a combination of financing from its concessional Asian Development Fund and LIBOR-based ordinary capital resources. The Global Environment Facility will provide grant funding to finance part of the program.

128,898 Posts
Tradition and modernity mix in a lethal smog as Mongolia's long winter draws in: It's the coldest capital city in the world - and in its tented slums, pollution from traditional heating is a killer. But change is on the way
20 October 2013
The Observer

They call Mongolia the "land of blue sky"; its spectacular desert, forest and grasslands are blessed by sun for two-thirds of the year. But climb to a snow-dusted hilltop overlooking Ulan Bator and you see a thick grey band hanging over the city. In the coming weeks, as temperatures plummet, the smog will spread across the streets and into homes, shutting out the light.

While Beijing's "airpocalypse" has made headlines worldwide, it pales beside the haze of the Mongolian capital. Ulan Bator is the world's second-most polluted city, superseded only by Ahvaz in Iran, according to World Health Organisation research.

Pollution is a common problem for quickly developing countries. But the biggest issue is not the smokestacks on the horizon - Mongolia's manufacturing sector remains minute - nor the vehicles jamming the capital's streets. Rather, it is the collision of urbanisation and traditional culture: 60-70% of winter pollution comes from the old-fashioned stoves heating the circular felt tents or gers that sprawl across the slopes around the city.

More than half of the city's 1.2 million inhabitants live in the impoverished ger districts, burning coal, wood and sometimes rubbish to cook and keep warm. Ulan Bator is the world's chilliest capital, with temperatures dipping as low as -40C in January.

"As soon as people start getting cold they start up their stoves, and that's when the smog begins. It looks like thick fog and every year it's getting worse. It's only a bit of an exaggeration to say you could get lost in it," said Otgonsetseg Lodoisambuu, who lives in a district to the north of the city with his children. "The little one stays inside all the time in the winter, but my older son is in first grade now, so we have to take him to school; I just put a scarf over his face. The only time it's OK to let the kids out is between one and two in the afternoon, when people let their fires die down because they have finished cooking.

"In the morning it hurts my throat as soon as I go outside. It must be hurting my lungs, too."

Ulan Bator's pollutant levels of PM2.5 - tiny particulate matter, which can penetrate deep into lungs - are six or seven times higher than the WHO's most lenient air-quality guidelines for developing countries. The result, say researchers, is that one in every 10 deaths is caused by air pollution - on their most conservative estimate.

Ryan Allen, of Simon Fraser University, in Canada, who led the study, said the true figure could be as high as one in five. The study did not consider the effects of indoor air pollution, excluded the deaths of those aged under 30 and was based on data from a centrally located government monitoring site, in a relatively less polluted area of the city.

He and his Mongolian co-researchers are now studying how pollution affects foetuses and whether using air filters could reduce the impact; Ulan Bator's public health institute has warned of a sharp increase in birth defects in the capital as well as a 45% rise in the number of patients with respiratory illnesses between 2004 and 2008. The World Bank has estimated that pollution-related health problems cost the country pounds 290m annually.

Dr Byambaa Onio, vice-director of the Bayanzurkh district hospital, arrived in the capital 46 years ago, when it was "a nice, clean city"; now the pollution levels are "disastrous", he said - and are producing a growing number of patients.

Like many of the capital's residents, he and his wife rarely open the windows in winter. But when they set up an air purifier at home, to test how severe the problem had become, they were shocked to see how dirty the filter became in just two days. "We've continued to use the purifiers, so my wife and I are breathing clean air - but others don't," he said.

Nor do others have the option to buy their children masks and decamp to a home outside the city at weekends, as the couple do, he notes. The residents of ger districts are hit twice over: pollution levels can be double those of the city centre, and they cannot afford to take evasive measures.

Joint research by the World Bank and National University of Mongolia suggests that halving ger stove emissions could cut year-round levels of the larger PM10 particles by a third. Foreign donors and Mongolian authorities have spent millions of dollars subsidising the distribution of 128,000 "clean" stoves in the last year and attempting to step up the production of clean fuels.

Galimbyek Khaltai, deputy head of the city's air pollution agency, says PM2.5 levels have already fallen by around 25% since the programme began. Other experts believe it is too early to judge its effectiveness because the monitoring network is not rigorous enough and unusually high levels of wind and snow last year are likely to have affected data.

Jugder Batmunkh is one of the keenest advocates of the stove replacement project. The 63-year-old is raising her grandchildren in a ger district to the north of the capital; last year she developed asthma, which her doctor blamed on pollution.

Disposing of the ashes from gers is easier and cleaner with the new model. When you take the cover off, the ger does not fill with smoke as it tended to do before. But the biggest advantage for her is its efficiency: it uses half as much coal. Her family burn through just one bag a day now, saving themselves perhaps 45,000 tugriks (pounds 16) a month - in an area where the average monthly income is around 600,000 tugriks.

Most of her neighbours in Bhayan Khoshuu have bought the appliances, but not all are so enthusiastic. Some have heard rumours that the new stoves might explode; others are unimpressed by their performance.

Twenty-two-year-old Nadmid Rentsenosor's recent purchase is standing idle. "It takes too long to heat up, so it warms the place much more slowly - we are still using the old one instead," she said.

The city is launching a two-month campaign to show people how to use the stoves and minimise emissions. But even if officials can persuade everyone to adapt, the resulting fall in pollution will be vulnerable to fresh shifts in Ulan Bator's development. As its economy grows, construction projects are under way around the city, churning up dust, and more vehicles sit in traffic jams on the streets. The city's population continues to swell and another bitter winter could bring a fresh surge of migrants to the ger districts; many of the current residents moved to the capital out of desperation when their livestock died in extreme weather conditions.

"Clean stoves reduce air pollution, but that's a short-term project. Our long-term project has to be to build affordable apartments," said Galimbyek of the air pollution agency.

The scale of demand is daunting and the quality of new buildings will be as important as the quality. Much of the city's housing dates from the Soviet era: it lacks double glazing and in many cases has just 5mm of basic polystyrene insulation on the concrete walls, said Graham McDarby of Gradon Architecture, a British firm now working on flats in the city. Raising current building standards to European levels could dramatically improve energy efficiency. "If you've got quality insulation and it's air-tight, the family in there will generate enough heat," he said.

But the ultimate problem, said Galimbyek, was that there were simply too many people in the capital: its size has tripled since 1979 and it has over a third of the country's population. It is where all the universities are located, and much of Mongolia's employment. To make Ulan Bator a healthier place, he believes, it has to stop mushrooming, which means that rural areas have to be developed instead. That might sound like a radical prescription, but drastic changes are needed.
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