Ajam Media Collective Podcast

Ajam Podcast #5: Urbanism & Informality in Tbilisi

Ajam Media Collective Podcast
Ajam Podcast #5: Urbanism & Informality in Tbilisi
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In this episode, we discuss urban development in post-Soviet Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Rustin is joined by Elena Darjania, a Tbilisi-based architect and urban planner, and Otar Nemsadze, an architect and organizer of the first [Tbilisi Architecture Biennale ](biennial.ge/). The conversation covers the transformation of the Georgian capital during the 19th and 20th centuries-- from a medieval walled city, to a Tsarist administrative center, a Soviet capital, and finally a post-soviet city undergoing privatization and attempting to attract foreign investment. The guests address problems and issues facing urbanists and activists, such as traffic congestion, deregulation in the construction and real estate industry, as well as inadequate services and infrastructure for residents. Additionally, Otar and Elena talk about the major theme of Tbilisi Architecture Biennale-- "informality," or the process in which inhabitants make alterations and adjustments to the built environment to address their changing needs. Rustin closes out the episode with [Lili Gegelia's "Gazafxulis Bralia"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaW_ZhUBUuM)
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