By Abdul Kerimkhanov, Rasana Gasimova
Baku is a vital, fast-growing city where the old and modern buildings, monuments and parks intertwine to create a unique architectural ensemble.
Myriads of parks exist in various parts of the capital. Each of them has their own infrastructure and attractions. These parks play an essential role in the life of the city, as they are the places where residents can enjoy fresh air and engage in recreational activities. The capital’s first park - Philharmonia Park – was opened in the mid-1930s. Since then, dozens of new picturesque parks and squares have been opened in the capital, especially in the past two decades. These are the green spots where once can relax, take a walk with their children, spend quality time with friends and family or just have some quiet time alone.
Central Park in the Sovetski area is a place where you can do all of these activities. It is one of the largest modern complexes built in Baku. The Park consists of six sections interconnected by elevated pedestrian crossings and avenues.
Central Park has been constructed by Austrian architect Jens Hoffmann in the area of the former “Sovetski” historic district in central Baku and occupies an area of 20 hectares. Two cafes, nine fountains, seven playgrounds and a 347-car underground parking lot have been constructed in the area of the park.
Azernews staff took a special reportage from Central Park, which was opened in Baku on May 22.
During the visit, correspondents had the opportunity to observe a number of people from different age groups in the park. Most respondents praised the construction of the park as an excellent place to spend time, while others felt nostalgic about the historic district that the park replaces.
“As retired people, we highly appreciate this project. We are grateful to those who built the park; it was our dream. We take our grandchildren for a walk in this park since it is near our place. Before this, we had to go to Winter Park [for a walk]. Thanks again, this is great,” an elderly woman said.
“Previously, construction works were being carried out here, which led to environmental contamination. With the construction of the park, this area has become more clean and beautiful,” one of the respondents said.
“The park has everything necessary to spend good time, to relax on the green lawn,” a teenage boy said, adding enthusiastically that “the Central Park is the best park in the city”.
A group of young girls told Azernews reporters that the construction of a new park was a good chance for them to take beautiful photos. “We really like the landscape, colorful atmosphere prevails the park,” they said.
Some respondents said they enjoyed the park, despite feeling nostalgic about the old “Sovetski” neighbourhood that used to be in the place of the park up until 2013.
“Sovetski" Street had a history; it had a special atmosphere and its own history. I have mixed feelings about this park. I think it was important to preserve the uniqueness of Sovetski in the park. Yet, the city is growing and it should expand. I suppose it would be nice if some more trees were planted in the park. It would positively affect the ecology of the area. I believe that building a small fish pond and bird nests to would be a good idea, too. It would make us feel as close to nature as possible,” another respondent said.
“I came here because my grandson loves to play and spend time here,” said an elderly woman living nearby.
The majority of respondents positively rated Central Park’s construction in mid-2019. The residents strive to protect the capital’s property and not to litter it.
It should be noted that the landscaping and reconstruction work started in the former “Sovetski” area in November 2013.
The reconstruction of this area is an important component of the General Plan for the development of the country’s capital and the whole Absheron. The Plan envisages establishing parks and squares, as well as new roads in the "Sovetski" area.
The demolition of old houses of the old Sovetski area streets and the resettlement of their residents due to the construction of state roads and other communication lines started in 2014 under the General Plan of Baku.
A lot of work has already been done as part of the project on the construction of new roads, gardening and landscaping in Baku’s territory known as “Sovetski”.
Gardening and landscaping of 23 hectares has already been completed, and underground parking for 347 cars has been built in front of the Tazapir mosque complex. Pedestrian bridges have been built and trees have been planted throughout the park.
The first part of the park was commissioned on May 22, 2019.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz