Azerbaijan-H-City Planning of a Green City on the ancient Silk Road Preamble After crossing the Caspian Sea, the merchants of the Spices of the East coming from Samarqand disembarked on the Azeri coast in order to continue westward, cross Azerbaijan, sail across the Black Sea , arrive in Constantinople, and finally in Rome. Modern roads and railroads follow this ancient trail. H-City was planned adjacent to the Costal Railway, saddled between the Coastal Road and the Transversal Road, close to their junction. H-City was planned on private land on private initiative. It was meant to be a green city in the yellow desert, a city that uses the accumulated knowledge of generations, to create a sustainable and creative living environment. General Data H-City is bordered on the north side by an artificial water channel taking water from a nearby reservoir to the north of the country. A short distance further north runs the main coastal road leading to the capital, Baku, about 2 hours drive to the South-East. Parallel to the road we also find the Coastal railway. To the South –East the City has natural borders to a deep canyon carrying water from the North East to the South West. To the South and West the borders are determined by ownership. Total area available for the planning of the city is 4,700,000 sqm The topography is irregular, rising towards the southern border, culminating in a hill occupied today by the radars of the nearby military airport. Planning Concept Brainstorming phase Planning teams in the office have been accumulating and analyzing urban configurations which work well and are worth promulgating, like the proportions of the Ramblas in Barcelona and integration of fresh product markets in the same city, or the proportions of the central park and surrounding buildings in New York. We have identifies 15 icon projects we wanted to weave into the city :Entrance Gates, Central Park, Open Air Market, Urban Icon Tower, Performing Arts Complex, Stadium, Plazas and others. And for a month each thinking team rotated through all the projects, brainstorming for special ideas. The winning ideas were developed and places within their context. Entrance Gate to the City from direction of Railroad/Airport/Coastal Road The backbone of the plan in the spirit of the ancient trail: the main road leading from the west, from the junction with the Coastal Road, to the road leading west, towards the Black Sea. The Entrance Gates to the City are located at the penetration points of this road into the City Space. Adjacent to the Eastern gate we will have an additional railway station and also through this gate the existing air field will be approached.. Functions serving the metropolitan population, like administrative and health services, recreation and sports facilities, universities and employment areas are all immediately accessible from the Main Road, which has been given the proportions of the most admired Ramblas.. Just behind the defining buildings we have placed an easily reachable, huge Farmers'Market, where local organic produce can be offered directly to the customers. Integrative Administrative/Cultural/Recreational/Living Spaces 2 circular access roads define the city layers, of which there are 3. The first is the Inner Core, which contains mixed areas of high rise living, offices, hi-tec buildings and cultural institutions ' the Iconic High Rise and is vertical in character. It floats like an island in the second layer, the green expanse of the Central Park, that sends out tentacles into the 3rd, outer layer of more intimate living areas. Organized in clearly defined neighborhoods, they contain a variety of apartment sizes and densities, higher adjacent to the Central Park and lower towards the peripheries. Radial low velocity roads and pathways for bicycles and pedestrians divide the cityscape into a very clear urban pattern. Each neighborhood has access to a central area within walking distance, which provides for the needs of the inhabitants. These "centers" are located along the outer circular access road, which facilitates their accessibility from all neighborhoods allowing for a great variety of services to all. The Circular roads have been planned for public transportation, allowing for quick access to all directions. Special thought has been given to the location of the schools. By placing them bordering the Central Park we allow the usage of their sporting facilities by the general public after school hours. Conclusion -H-City will be an image of healthy, co productive and sustainable living -H-City will be a magnet for tourism, commerce, business -H-City sits an at he junction point of existing main thoroughfares, vehicular, rail and air transportation -H-City invites the country side to the city allowing for reciprocal bounds to be formed -H-City will provide the environment for innovative, energy saving building and will be the catalyst for further development in an otherwise conservative society


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