2010 Batumi, Georgia

Sustainable waterfront development

Stadslab European Urban Design Laboratory organized a 10 day international Master Class on the regeneration of Georgia's Black Sea coast. The Black Sea coast is witnessing a fast development with a double focus on establishing an international tourism destination and developing an international cargo and oil transit main port. These developments are related to the regeneration of port cities Poti and Batumi. Although many projects are already in progress and the region has the attention of both the national government and international investors, developments occur rather fragmented and without clear strategic regional plan.

Stadslab was asked to organize a Master Class dedicated to the topic of stimulating a more coherent regional development for the coastal corridor. Stadslab is an established think tank and international Urban Design Laboratory. A team of thirteen architects and planners applied for the Master Class program. The team was supervised by internationally renowned planner Ruurd Gietema, partner at KCAP architects and planners (Rotterdam, Zurich, Shanghai) and Stadslab Staff.

Stadslab believes that the potential for a coherent regional development is great and that a regional strategic master plan could support sustainable development. The coastal region with Georgia’s main ports and international airport has beneficial natural assets and a relatively outward looking culture, with remnants of a cosmopolitan past. Current investment dynamics are great and create the momentum for radical modernization. The process should be balanced in order for local communities to adapt and profit from new opportunities. An outstanding natural asset, such as found at Georgia’s Riviera can be an infinite source of spiritual and physical health and a source for economic development. On the other hand, it can be ruined in one generation if the wrong decisions are taken now. That’s why Stadslab urges to develop and install a long-term regional development plan.

Result & Conclusions (PDF).