Transformation of Black City


Transformation of Black City 
Baku, an oldest centre of world oil industry turned into one of the large cities of the region for a short time and took its unique shape.

The capital is increasingly more turning into a city of business and life, rest and entertainment by developing dynamically and involving a large business and foreign investments with its perspective. For the last years the large-scale activities for implementation of various urban projects are being carried out in the city.

Baku White City Project being implemented within a framework of Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on approval of the «Plan of comprehensive measures for improving the ecology in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2006-2010» is a new plan for developing a territory historically called the "Black City".
At the current time, a unique opportunity for the restoration of the Black City area has arisen on an industrial site, which is located directly at the centre of Baku Bay and the to the east of the city centre. A site with an area of 221ha and surrounded by a dynamically developing city infrastructure has a chance to be reborn for a new purpose, and has become one of the most attractive opportunities for investments 
As lead consultant, the world-renowned global design firm Atkins (UK) performed masterplanning and detailed planning activities for the project. Along with specialists from Azerbaijan, Fosters and Partners (UK), established by legendary architect Norman Foster and American architectural bureau F+A Architects, with their globally renowned experience in the design of retail projects, were also involved.

An architectural variety, environmental compatibility and considered integration of new site into already existing city context became the important trends while setting up a concept of the project. Consequently, the project covering earth revival and construction incentives, creation of attractive environment and infrastructure for comfortable life and work was presented together with fascinating architecture and investment prospects.

For the time being the works on earlier scheduled design stages have started. 
Thus, within a first phase of the project the works on soil clean-up have been already completed and construction of three residential buildings launched in the area (Green Hill). Khagani Rustamov street turns into the modern avenue 45 m in width, designed to junction two main transport highways of the city – Nobel avenue and Babek avenue. 
Clean-up of next area - Babek Strip has started, and construction of new shopping center with a view to Babek avenue is under the way in the area.
An infrastructure for future modern capital core, including construction of roads, supply of water, sewage, electricity, gas, telecommunications etc. is being developed in the project territory. 

On Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative construction of building, designed to become a French school has launched in the Waterfront West area. Foundation laying of the school building was made by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of France Nicolas Sarcozy.

It is scheduled to start construction of one of the most beautiful emblematic buildings of the project - Baku White City Office Building. An elegant modern building is located on Nobel avenue and designates an access to the project territory from Baku core. A building is decorated with an elegant landscape area from Nobel avenue side as well as provided with convenient approaches to parking.

Designing of various residential and office buildings are being carried out in association with local and foreign investors where the project delivers a support to the project preparation, engineering coordination and other legal and organizational aspects.

Coastal boulevard 4 km long for over 100 years will extend up to 7 km towards the western part of the city. Afterwards a boulevard area   will increase to 11 km, including coastal line of Flag Square. Construction of Baku White City’s coastal zone will add 3 kilometers of coastal line to   turn Baku boulevard into the most beautiful and stretched one among all famous boulevards worldwide. 

Creation of new modern centre in our capital opens up extra possibilities for local and foreign investments as well. As stated by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the meeting on social and economic development of Baku and suburbs: «All required measures were taken in Azerbaijan to develop private sector, protect foreign investments and implementation of Baku White City project will be ranked on the map of world cities as a manifest of the new development strategy of our city and country as well». 
Baku White City is oriented toward both local and foreign investment, offering a wide range of residential and commercial buildings of various sizes. Investors will be able to select suitable units for investment and construction, from small villas to large-scale urban projects.

Carried out within the context of the Decree of Mr. ILHAM ALIYEV, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic entitled “Comprehensive action plan for improving the ecological conditions in the Azerbaijan Republic during 2006 – 2010”, the project provides legal and organizational support - regardless of the scale of investment - to all investors of Baku White City.

The grandeur of the concept and the professionalism of the highly considered work that was carried out places Baku at the forefront of urban design and planning, and puts it in line with the world’s leading urban projects.

With the initiation of this project, the industrial appearance of the Black City will become a memory, giving way to harmony and comfort in the name of  Baku White City, called upon to fulfill its role as a new modern centre of Baku - the leading regional city with a unique character.