June 1, 2010｜Mongolia
Head, Capital City Statistics Department
In keeping with major cities around the world, Ulaanbaatar has started to face such pressing issues as increased traffic and traffic jams. Its population growth has exceeded the supply and capacity of its engineered infrastructure, has led to a loss of environmental equilibrium and a deficiency in basic social services, such as housing, hygiene and sanitary services, and has become a factor influencing the health of and prevalence of poverty in the population.
The intensive construction of housing and of production and service facilities with engineered infrastructure facilities in the central parts of the city has: led to the failure of the urban planning policy; led to deficiencies in the supply of engineered infrastructure; posed difficulties in the repair and maintenance of the engineered infrastructure network; and increased the burden on the central part of the city.
Although the long-term program for the development of Ulaanbaatar’s infrastructure is being carried out, it has not been able to gain recognition at the international level and cannot attract investment. The main constraints in identifying developmental trends and future prospects, and defining strategy, policy and methods of implementation, are the insufficient opportunities for conducting proper studies and research and the insufficient knowledge and expertise of city-planning specialists and engineers.
This opinion paper contributes to understanding this situation. We hope that Ulaanbaatar’s sister cities and countries with centuries-long experience in urban development will assist in bringing the long-term policy, strategy and planning for engineered infrastructure up to the contemporary level of urban development and in upgrading the knowledge and skills of those Mongolians working in this area.