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Batumi Boulevard reason for confrontation

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, December 25
The second discussions about a new concept of Batumi Boulevard turned into a confrontation, as the majority of Batumi citizens do not approve of it.

The new project was not approved by Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) too. The special protest was expressed about the reduction of the three alleys into two and ideas relating to new infrastructure, which implies the construction of new cafes, fountains and recreational areas on the territory of the historical alley.

A Batumi member of Society NGO and journalist Irma Zoidze said that before the development of the draft, the authors should have asked specialists and taken the time to find out public opinion. According to her, the new concept creates a serious threat to the green plants and trees.

“The fact is that there are too many pavements in the boulevard and we prefer more plants in this area; you should have asked the public’s opinion first. This project represents a threat to the boulevard,” she stated.

According to the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, work on the Boulevard Development Concept has already started. The architect of the concept is Dreamland Oasis, a local development firm.

The project implies future development of the boulevard, which is currently enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists and people on skateboards, roller blades and more. The boulevard currently has three paths for different users, though the project would replace the 5.2km middle and largest paths, as the asphalt has been badly damaged.

This central path will be replaced with landscape elements, and this would increase the boulevard’s green space by 120 percent.

The new concept also envisaged a 1.6km path to be divided into different recreation zones, which will be connected via new, smaller paths.

It should be noted that Dreamland Oasis has invested tasked $105 million USD to build a resort zone and new infrastructure around the Oasis Hotel in Chakvi. When complete, the resort area will contain hotel-type dwellings that meet international standards. Currently 21 residential building are being constructed in the area.

The Batumi Boulevard concept is due to be completed by May 2016.