Impact of transition on transformation of public green spaces in Yerevan
During the period of Soviet Union, large number of public green spaces, parks and forests were implemented and integrated in the daily lives of citizens. The land was totally owned, managed and developed by the central government. After the dissolution of USSR in 1991, dramatic social, economic and political changes were reflected in urban transformations especially in central locations of former communist cities including Yerevan. Several public green spaces including parks, green courtyards and lawns were privatized and constructed into private amenities. The aim of the research is to reveal what kind of transformations happened with public green spaces in Yerevan during the period of transition and to explain how changes of transition impacted those transformations. The study focuses particularly on the city centre due to its cultural importance, and through 4 case studies explains the causality of various interdependent factors on certain transformations. Various methods of primary and secondary data collection and analysis, such as observations, content analysis and interviews have been used for further research. Methodological and source triangulations were done in order to strengthen internal validity of the study. Moreover, the research provides a micro-level study of the qualitative outcome of those transformations. Additionally, general analysis at city-scale strengthens the external validity of the study and enables to generalize the findings. The research revealed that emergence of a new actor in the market (the private develop) was essential. Becoming dependent on private investments, the state was willing to sell or to lease the publicly owned land, which was being commercialized and constructed into private uses. The greatest power of developer was also supported by a flexible legal framework, lack of adopted laws, regulations and planning policy for the new market economy, as well as fragmented society, which was lacking of collective actions for preservation of public green spaces. Furthermore, it was found that drastic changes in social perceptions and trends, such as the shift of preferences from outdoor to indoor commercial activities resulted in establishment of consumerist-society and greater demand on commercial amenities. Additionally, lacking of up-to-date knowledge and experience in urban management in the conditions of new market economy resulted in short-term interventions and urban errors in the city. Particularly, the city centre was affected by transformations to a great extent due to high attractiveness for commercial developments. The transformations of public green spaces into private uses continue to happen in Yerevan until nowadays. It is important to mention that the unique spatial structure of the centre, where the green belts play a significant role in forming the historical layout of the small centre, represents an important cultural value at a national level. Thus, the urgency of the investigated issue remains on the urban agenda due to its environmental, economic, social and cultural importance.
|Keywords||Transition, transformation, public green space, land market, privatization, tragedy of commons|
|Thesis Advisor||Krabben, E. van der (Erwin|
|Note||UMD 13 Report number: 990|
Hovhannisyan, A. (Anahit). (2017, September). Impact of transition on transformation of public green spaces in Yerevan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/42360