Sports Palace

Physical manifestation of urban ‘developmentalism’ in Tbilisi

Photo credits

The surrounding area of Tbilisi Sports Palace has become synonymous and a physical manifestation of the unregulated urban development and real estate speculation that has been reshaping the city for more than a couple of decades now. The high-rise residential buildings from early 2000s through 2010s are of poor quality and some of the underground parking spaces have been flooded by ground water, forcing residents to park their cars on the sidewalks, limiting public space. Other businesses also followed the path of the developers and demonstrated their eagerness to take over the open urban spaces for their own profit.

A number of examples are pointed out on 2017 satellite image:

  1. Mc Drive (took over the sidewalk and a small park);
  2. Spar (took over the sidewalk);
  3. King David premium apartments and business center (took over the green area, cut part of the cliff);
  4. Wendy’s (took over the sidewalk);
  5. Holiday Inn parking (took over part of the public road).

As a side note, previous mayor of Tbilisi (2013-2017) used to reside in this area while in office. Most likely he still lives there.

Giorgi Kankia
urban geographer and planner