City Institute Georgia Finalizes Tbilisi Land Use Plan
By Levan Khutsishvili
Friday, January 19In May 2015, Tbilisi City Hall announced a competition for the Land Use Plan. City Institute Georgia has won the contest and according to the contract, the company should have submitted the finalized document in 18 months. However, instead of May 2017, the company submitted a draft Land Use Plan for further public discussions and expertise in June 2017.
The Asian Development Bank hired an expert Eric Huybrechts from Institut d’amenagement et d’urbanisme d’Ile-de-France in order to assess the Land Use Plan. Mr. Huybrechts has presented conclusions regarding the document in September 2017 criticizing the proposed Land Use Plan for several aspects.
In October 2017, new mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze initiated the creation of a special group to study the Land Use Plan. A group of experts discussed the document and sent it to the company for feedback.
City Institute Georgia submitted a final version of Land Use Plan to City Hall in November 2017, but City Hall was not satisfied with the presented document, as according to them, most important remarks were not taken into account. Consequently, City Institute Georgia was fined with GEL 140 000 on December 25, 2017. In addition, Tbilisi City Hall gave a company 10 days to correct inaccuracies.
On January 12, 2018, after 19 days Mayor of Tbilisi Kaladze declared that some aspects in Land Use Plan still needs clarifications, otherwise City Hall might terminate the contract with City Institute Georgia and announce a new competition for the Land Use Plan.
LEPL - Tbilisi Architecture’s list of notes for the Land Use Plan focuses on several aspects:
1. Zonation – As it is said in the feedback, proposed functional zones should be maximally justified. The Land Use Plan does not cover the substantiations of changes in zones,
2. Transportation – The proposed text does not refer to any applicable policy document or the European Directives, nor does it include any kind of research, studies and relevant data about transportation issues in Tbilisi. The proposed solutions about railway and roads in the city do not correspond to the city needs and it requires more clarifications and evidence,
3. Problems connected with determining the protective zones of cultural heritage and their borders,
4. The conceptual project of Eliava Market relocation and creation of a recreation zone on that place,
5. The concept of Bicycle roads, the suggested concept does not cover the whole city.
The director of City Institute Georgia, Mamuka Salukvadze does not agree with most of the remarks. According to Salukvadze, Tbilisi needs the transport modeling and Master Plan, in order to find efficient solutions for transportation issues. He also added that there were some technical mistakes in zonation maps and City Institute Georgia has corrected all of them.
Mayor of Tbilisi Kaladze highlighted the importance of Land Use Plan for the city development. He stated that Tbilisi has no time to compromise and create an inefficient Land Use Plan. Tbilisi City Hall and City Institute Georgia made an agreement and the company received one month and a half to take all the remarks into account, edit and finalize the Land Use Plan of Tbilisi.