Another pardon, which we will have to beg to the next generation will have to be the planned overpass at Pushkin Square, which is being built instead of the pedestrian path and the green cover and using which from Freedom square to Kolmeurneoba, two-way traffic will be restored.

 

What are the benefits of overpasses?

The benefits of overpass for such a historic city as Tbilisi is – zero. They attract even more vehicles, which, in turn, congest the traffic even more and emit harmful gases are about, which is the guarantee to dissolution of human health and contamination of the environment.

This specific overpass project was initiated by Tbilisi City Hall, which has a fixed idea to defies the overloaded traffic in the city. Urban Planning Department (if such exists at all) sees the solution to this problem in constructing an overpass over the historical part of the city, more roads for even more cars #morecarsfortbilisi

Overpass construction permit, under the simplified procedure, was issued by the city’s self-government unit, on December 4th, 2015. This approved project is presented with only engineering drawings. The widespread photos only vaguely show the project’s whole look, installation is only partly presented from which it is still quite evident that sidewalk is significantly reduced, while green cover has vanished overall.

 

How many cars are there in Tbilisi?

In Tbilisi there are as many cars as many times you blink during the day, while over the city there is as much harmful gas collected, as many times you breathe. You would notice that Tbilisi’s pavements as well as any empty space have turned into “resting corners” for the vehicles.

 

what is happening?

It has already happened. Tbilisi’s one of the comfortable public spaces has altogether disappeared and replaced by a new bridge. Concrete has been poured on the existing green cover and restingbenches, sidewalks and low bushes. #MoreconcretetoTbilisi When you think of it, at first sight such project seems absurd and impossible, but…

 

what will happen?

More roads will be built, not because they are necessary, but because the number of cars is increasing and there is not enough space for them anymore.

 

What creates cities valuable?

The comfort of public spaces, architectural appearance of the city and environment to understand a city.

 

Is Tbilisi a valuable city?

Tbilisi is Europe’s one of the most significant cities with its history, events that took place here and what is more important, with its unique architecture. The urban fabric created in the historical centre of the city, with its value, is definitely not less valuable than the other world cities. Although most of the historic neighborhoods are in need of repairs and buildings are at risk of collapsing, walking in the old city still feels like a celebratiob due to its numerous, various details

 

Is Tbilisi a comfortable city for locals and tourists?

Tbilisi, due to the events of the last 25 years, is  one of the least comfortable cities.

The reason for this was a complete chaos in the 90’s and independent, illegal works undertaken by the citizens as a result of which Tbilisi’s unique architecture got a lot of attachments from all sides, public spaces were destroyed and taken over by “super markets” or Housing projects.

Now, the reason for this is fault in the architectural law, which does not require the architect to have professional education, so Tbilisi is being filled with ugly buildings. Non-existence of the city’s main architectural plan and overall appearance is what resulted in the disappearance of the unique red tin roofs and now if you overlook the city, it looks more like a gray field.

The comfort of the city should firstly be created using pedestrian paths and public spaces, where there will be more possibility for civil activities and analog of which in Tbilisi practically does not exist. Pavements are mostly occupied by cars and have you ever noticed people in the park, taking their time on a picnic, resting on blankets? Me neither.

 

What are the consequences of Pushkini overpass?

Several important ones:

  1. Tbilisi was deprived of yet another public space.
  2. However, more cars were added to this place and especially huge congestion in the rush hour.
  3. A number of small businesses around are under threat because of reducing the size of pavement and naturally number of pedestrians
  4. Historical, archaeological zone of the city has been overshadowed by a road.
  5. Concrete replaced the green cover.
  6. The city government once again emphasizes that priority in Tbilisi is cars and not people, which in itself is very offensive.

 

What was: 

What is:

What will be:

 

 

 

Author: Nanuka Zaalishvili

English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze

 

 

 

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