Monday, May 30, 2011


There are a myriad of myths associated with the culture of the Yurt or the Ger. The most common stories center upon idealized notions of nomadic life where man coexists in harmony with nature and embraces the spirit of adventure. Since Rousseau such arcadian visions have been popular amongst intellectual and cultural elites. Within a ranking list of modern life concepts it would come to the first places.

Yet in the culture of Mongolia, far away from Europe, this Rousseauian dream of self-realization has long since been reinterpreted by the former nomads. The dream of a better, happier life attainable only through solid - if stolid - structures. This new exuberant goal of self realization is expressed in the modern Mongolian architecture where skyscrapers proliferate in the capital of Ulaanbaatar with their own symbolism but without any evident unified planning concept. The culture of own-to-let is well established and practiced by many realtors.

Ulaanbaatar absorbs an influx of approximately 85 thousand new inhabitants per year. Neither urban guidelines nor comprehensive building codes are available to regulate the city‘s growth which is why migration to the capitol is virtually unrestricted. Traditional Gers have become a permanent housing solution to this problem. Outlying Ger suburbs at the periphery of the city are severely overcrowded, lack infrastructure and make a negative impact on the environment. Short term settlement forecasts indicate that by 2012-13 demands will far exceed the capacities of the already inadequate infrastructure. So, the cultural and social change in Ulaanbaatar is going on.

  © 2011 Ger vs. Skyscraper | Copyright

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