Tbilisi architecture biennial

The changing Urban Form of Georgia: The Example of Tbilisi and the Belt and Road Initiative

online

05.11.20

Georgia situates at the intersection of Asia and Europe, where opportunities and conflicts coexist. Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the rigid Soviet Union political system weakened the connecting function of Georgia between the east and the west by giving constraints on its economic development, while after 1991, Georgia entered the free market period with less external political interference.


Its economy development mode changed from a planned economy to a free-market economy, meanwhile, the urban forms of cities in Georgia transformed significantly due to the international investments attracted by its location advantage and policy supports.


The Belt and Road Initiative stimulates the ongoing exchanges between China and Georgia, generating exciting yet unexpected outcomes in Georgian cities. Most research has viewed the B&R from perspectives of economy or politics, while little studies have been done from the spatial aspect. This research focuses on B&R and its spatial influence on the urban form of Tbilisi, investigating how the urban form interacts with the influential political and economic incentives. Through mapping the history and present urban fabric of Tbilisi, and a detailed case study of B&R projects in Tbilisi, this research examine the urban form of Tbilisi from macro to micro scales, offering an in-depth view of the changing spatial attributes of Georgian cities, and the influence on people’s social life.


This research seeks to find the underlying principles for the changing urban form and contributes to the healthy urban development of Georgian cities or even cities in the South Caucasus.  


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