Derbent to be made viable city

 Derbent to be made viable city

An open international competition has been launched to design a master plan for the 'City of Derbent' urban district in Dagestan. The competition is being held as part of the development program of the oldest city in the country. This includes the development of scenarios for the urban district development, taking into account its resources and areas of economic specialization. The master plan, developed as part of the competition, will determine the main vectors of the city’s development for the period from 2020 to 2040.

The organizers of the competition invite professional organizations specializing in integrated development of territories and urban planning, architecture, design, as well as public space development concepts that operate in Russia and are able to attract specialists in the field of economics, finance and content programming as part of the team. The winner of the competition will receive 4 million rubles, the silver medalist  - 2 million rubles, the bronze medalist - one million rubles.

The chairman of the Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of Dagestan, Nezir Huseynov, explained that people's quality of life can be improved, including with the use of urban planning techniques: "The area of our republic is 50 thousand square kilometers with 3 million people living here, we have 10 cities and 42 municipalities. Dagestan occupies the first place in Russia in terms of the natural increase. A city-planning situation can only be changed systematically. A master plan will reveal the economic assets necessary for the republic and the city of Derbent, which we may not even know about. One of the main components of the master plan is public work."

Head of the Derbent City urban district Hizri Abakarov stressed the city's current high population density: "In some places the maximum height of buildings is 6-7 storeys, but 9-10-storey buildings still have been built. More than 400 people live on one hectare of land. Therefore, we need a plan." Abakarov suggests to make a bet on tourism: "These are hiking, historical tourism, which is especially interesting in a city where representatives of three religions live together. Hotels should be built on a 12-km-long embankment. Culture centers should be repaired - Azerbaijan Theater, Tabasaran Theater, Lezghinsky theater".

Speaking about the tasks assigned to the city of Derbent as one of the historical cities of Russia, chief architect of Derbent Isa Magomedov noted that the previous master plans and strategies had no clear implementation mechanisms and are irrelevant now: "Therefore, we decided to approach a new stage of the city's spatial development as Russia's  tourist site more thoroughly. Any project should begin with a deep analysis of the territory, especially when we plan to design the development scenario for such a historic multicultural city. Analytical studies on the city of Derbent were launched. Today we already have the results of these analytical studies, which will be the starting point for the competition and the basis for the participants of this competition, from which they will obtain information for further work.

"The most up-to-date concept is the concept of a viable city which is ready to adapt and develop taking into account the existing realities. This is a city that is constantly being improved, which requires the participation of its citizens. The master plan is an agreement with the residents of the city, which will be implemented together with the aspirations of its residents," Magomedov said.