Baku: one of most beautiful cities in world
"Today Baku is developing as the most beautiful city in the world. Visitors to Baku, as well as my colleagues always share their impressions of the capital's construction and renovation, saying that Baku is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world." These words of President Ilham Aliyev are a good confirmation of the fact that the development of our capital is always in the spotlight and the consecutive construction works are carried out.
Including Baku in the list of 52 Places to Go, published by The New York Times a few years ago, as well as the announcement of Baku as "The best city to visit” "One of the 50 largest cities in the world", "The city that created Paris on the streets - Baku", "Baku as the safest city" in the articles and broadcasts from the world's most popular publications and leading media outlets also coincide with the President's ideas about our capital. For example, The New York Times published an article that says that Baku's mix of ancient culture and Dubai-style extravagance is putting it on the tourist map at last. The article also says that the second oil boom in the capital of Azerbaijan has opened new horizons for the city on the coast of the Caspian Sea. "Examples of the city's most beautiful buildings are the Flame Towers and the Heydar Aliyev Center built by architect Zaha Hadid. The city has internationally acclaimed hotels such as Four Seasons, Hilton and Pullman. The 33-story Trump International Hotel and the Baku Tower are also on the list of these magnificent buildings,” says the article.
Baku has a special place also in Skylines, a book published in Britain, covering 50 of the world's largest and most magnificent cities. In addition to our capital, London, Paris, Istanbul, Moscow, New York, Rome, and other cities also feature the beauty, architecture, historical monuments and modern buildings of the world. It was emphasized in the book that Baku has magnificent and ancient historical monuments included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, such as Icheri Sheher, Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah Palace. Referring to the architectural monuments of the Soviet period, the authors provided information about the Heydar Aliyev Palace and the Telequlle complex. It was also noted that after the restoration of independence, reconstruction, and building of modern architectural monuments were continued in Baku. The Flame Towers have become a symbol of the city. The International Mugham Center plays an important role in the popularization of mugham, a national genre of Azerbaijan. The Heydar Aliyev Center, which was named Design of the Year by London's Design Museum in 2014, holds a special place among the world's architectural monuments of the modern era. Moreover, Baku has entered the list of the best cities in the world in terms of security, according to the rating compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit and The Economist magazine.
"Every place in the city should be improved,” President Ilham Aliyev said while receiving Head of Baku City Executive Authority Eldar Azizov. The issues raised by President Ilham Aliyev regarding the development, improvement, ecological situation and problems of the capital are the goals set.
Balakhany landfills, Bibiheybet mines, Lake Boyukshor...
Noting that he personally supervises the development of the city and is initiating many projects, President Ilham Aliyev also emphasized that the environmental situation in the city has improved and many important projects have been implemented. "Sources of pollution have been eliminated from the city. Among them, first of all, I should mention the former Balakhany landfills. A modern landfill has been built on the site now. We have eliminated this source of environmental disaster,” he said.
Another source of environmental disaster is the Bibiheybet oil field, the president said. "The situation there was generally miserable. All these have been removed. There is now a beautiful park. At the same time, a sports campus has been established, a modern sports pool and other public facilities have been built.”
The head of the state also mentioned that Lake Boyukshor was also a source of great danger in the past. So, for decades, sewage, oil-contaminated water into the Lake Boyukshor have turned the region into an ecological disaster zone. "We have also cleaned the area, part of the Lake Boyukshor meets environmental standards," President Aliyev said. "A new road has been laid over the lake and work is underway to clear the second part of the lake. The Olympic Stadium has been built in what was once known as a swamp.”
The city of green parks and gardens
The head of state noted that planting trees in different places greatly improved the ecological condition of the city. "Millions of trees have been planted. Today Baku is a city of green parks and gardens. Due to the number of parks, I think Baku takes one of the leading places in the world. The distance of our largest park – the boulevard has been extended from 3 to 15 kilometers. Central Park now gives the city a new charm. A beautiful, more than 20-hectare park has been in the area called Sovetsky. A 20-hectare park has been built in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center, in front of the Congress Center – the site of the former Sattarkhan factory was also a source of environmental danger – and citizens enjoy it. The air pollutant lamp factory, slate factory, and other businesses have been relocated, with transportation infrastructure set up on their site. In short, today Baku is a city that is rapidly growing both in terms of environmental and comfort,” the president noted.
President Ilham Aliyev also stressed that the city's economy has been renewed and relevant orders have been issued and decisions have been made in this regard. "This year, efforts have been made to modernize the urban economy. As part of the state investment program, at the expense of the President's Reserve Fund, the elevator farm is being renovated and exemplary yards are being built. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is doing a great job in this area. Some 10 million manat has been allocated from the reserve fund for renewal of roofs,” he said.
Note that under the instruction of the head of state, 273 exemplary yards were created in 2018-2019. Thanks to the efforts of IDEA Public Union, founded by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, a new park format has been introduced in Baku today. The facades, roofs, and blocks of tens of buildings in these areas, as well as the water supply system have been renovated, and conditions for sports and leisure have been created for all age categories. By the end of the year, another 15 new exemplary yards are to be commissioned, and in the coming years, 743 such projects are expected to be implemented.
Our national wealth
Noting that Baku has a rare, unique, historic architecture, the president urged everyone to be careful about this great wealth. "Those buildings need to be repaired so that their historic appearance is not spoiled. In some cases, historic buildings are being demolished, with high-rise buildings constructed on their site. This must not be allowed. The architecture of Baku is our national wealth. Icheri Sheher is protected by UNESCO. It is our great wealth,” he pointed out.
The head of state said there are problems along with the implementation of orders and decrees that promote development. "In some cases, construction sites are seized, and in some cases orders are issued illegally, trees are cut down. In most cases, citizens report to the appropriate authorities when facing such a situation. In other words, it means the existence of public control. After that, the rules of urban planning in Baku must be fully ensured. All cities have appropriate coefficients for building construction. Unfortunately, in the past, all the rules of urban planning were violated. New high-rise buildings were erected right in front of the existing buildings, and some of the so-called businessmen were depriving the citizens living in old buildings of the sunlight. In most cases, buildings were constructed in the yards. In the past, buildings were even built in the yards of some schools. Then this situation was put to an end. That is, the urban planning rules must be applied where local executive bodies and, of course, the State Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning must work at a high level to ensure that all urban planning norms are met. Thus, Baku and all the cities of Azerbaijan must be developed in a planned manner,” he noted.
The president noted that in some places there are no street lights at all, there are no highways in some settlements and in many places. "I have already given the Azeravtoyol Agency a serious task in this regard. That is, every place in the city is dear to us. Baku is not just a center. We create the infrastructure of the city, first of all for citizens, then for tourists and foreign guests. They, of course, should feel comfortable in Baku. But, first of all, we have to solve the problems of city residents,” said the head of state.
Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev said: "The city, which for centuries has been called Black, will become White, will become pure, will blossom and will be transformed into a beautiful corner of Azerbaijan." Today these words have become true. The best example of this is the efforts of the political successor of the great leader, President Ilham Aliyev, on the development of our city, not only as head of state but also as a citizen. "We need to develop our city. Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and further steps will be taken for its development.”