Urban planning in Zangilan paves way to opening of Zangazur corridor
Azerbaijan is already hosting the 2nd National Urban Planning Forum. The event held this time was continued under the theme of "Sustainable cities as a driving force of economic development and fighting inequalities" within the framework of the "Urban Planning Week 2023". Besides, the forum was held with the cooperation of the UN-Habitat Program (UN-HABITAT) and the State Urban Planning and Architecture Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Regarding the place where the event was held, the forum attended by more than 200 foreign guests representing 53 countries and a total of 400 participants was held this time in Zangilan, which was libeated from the Armenian occupation and is considered the most strategic point of East Zangazur.
One of the important moments of the event was the highlights in the speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. For example, the fact that Zangilan is the most important transportation point, the opening of a school, a kindergarten, and a number of public and state-important facilities in Zangilan, as well as the beginning of the first migration to the city of Zangilan can be considered as a particularly important message delivered to both the Azerbaijani society and the world.
"We consider Zangilan to be an important transportation destination because of its geographical location, and because it is located on the transportation corridors," the President said while addressing the forum.
This statement mentioned by the President in his speech was actually a message aimed at strategic partners interested in the Middle Corridor project. In general, a number of important prospective projects of the head of state related to Zangilan are directly related to the Zangazur corridor, which is expected to be opened in the near future.
Zangilan, which was destroyed as a result of the Armenian occupation for more than 30 years, today plays a significant role in the development of the economy of both Azerbaijan and the world.
The smart villages built in Zangilan, as well as the construction of the city in the most modern form, are of particular importance for the future well-being of native residents who will settle there. President Ilham Aliyev's emphasis on increasing the tourism potential of the region also means that the infrastructure to be created for tourism in Zangilan in the near future is large-scale. As the head of state noted, Zangilan is one of the most convenient places to receive tourists due to its nature. Climatic conditions, landscape, and mild weather encourage the development of the city as a resort center.
Azerbaijan paid special attention to the development of East Zangazur in parallel with the Garabagh Economic Region. For example, the international airport built in Zangilan also aims to facilitate transportation from the territorial point of view, and at the same time, it considers the development of tourism as one of the priorities.
"In the future, I'm sure there'll be a lot of foreign tourists here because Zangilan is one of the most beautiful parts of Azerbaijan. It is all green – hills and mountains, rivers and lakes, and a unique ecosystem of Zangilan. Really, it's a big treasure for us," the President said.
It is a fact that not only Zangilan but also all areas of East Zangazur are rich in natural underground resources. The region, including Kalbajar, Gubadli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan, has always attracted the interest of the countries of the world with its rich nature, mineral resources, valuable fossils such as cobalt, copper, palladium, and others. During its 30-year occupation, including the Garabagh economic region, Armenia treated these territories as exploiter and caused serious damage to the ecological system instead of construction. East Zangazur was also distinguished by its dense forests, but until the end of the occupation, the illegal cutting of trees by Armenians for commercial purposes endangered the flora and fauna of the region. Today, Azerbaijan also benefits from UN programs and implements joint projects to restore the former potential of the East Zangazur and Garabagh economic region. Undoubtedly, since the opening of the Zangazur corridor, all infrastructure projects, the return plan, and the constructed roads will start their intensive activity in parallel. The steps regarding the return to Zangilan town are approaching. The fact that the head of state mentioned that the return to Zangilan town will begin by 2025 or in a shorter time indicates the successful continuation of large-scale projects, including the opening of the Zangazur Corridor.
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
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