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Manager of Tbilisi Night Economy Concept Provides Project Details

By Levan Khutsishvili
Monday, March 12
Before the self-government elections in 2017, Tbilisi mayor candidate Kakha Kaladze initiated development of Night Economy in Tbilisi, right after he would be elected. First steps in this direction were made in March 7, when Sergi Gvarjaladze – journalist, producer, musician, TV host, was appointed as the manager of Tbilisi Night Economy project.

Kakha Kaladze – Mayor of Tbilisi said that development of night economy will support the development of small and medium-sized businesses and will create additional jobs. According to the mayor, project will be implemented not only central districts of Tbilisi, but also in suburbs.

“We have good examples of development in suburbs, and I think that, for example Gldani district, has a huge potential for Night Economy projects development, around 200 000 people are living there, and they don’t have spaces for entertainment, they go to central districts for cinema, theatre or clubbing. Our aim is to create hot-spots in suburbs” – stated Sergi Gvarjaladze in his most recent interview with Imedi TV.

Some important elements of Night Economy is visible in Tbilisi. Some of the clubs are among the top 10 nightclubs in the world, but according to Gvarjaladze, Night Economy is not only nightclubs, it has several aspects with a potential to be developed. As he said, he has already collected very interesting ideas from citizens, for example in the field of night sport development – creating affordable infrastructure for sport activities at night. Another aspect can be night festivals. Tbilisi has some experience in Night Museum projects.

In a month time, Gvarjaladze and his team, together with City Hall and other institutions will observe problems and needs for the project development, and will create draft version of Tbilisi Night Economy development concept.

Night Economy concept was developed from 1990s. When some cities in UK and other European countries realized, that night activities can bring financial and other benefits. As a result, Night Economy in UK employs 1.3 million people and is worth £ 66bn a year. Similar figures in Australia- 2016 contributed $108 billion with 1 million employees, and in both countries the datas are increasing.

Among the list of benefits of Night Economy development are the economic development of the cities, diversity in leisure and commercial activities, promotion of citizens’ security, development of local tourism and creation of strong sense of belonging, as the city that offers interesting activities and possibilities during the whole day and night, can create strong neighborhoods and can link citizens with each other and with the city.

But without the well-planned and managed Night Economy, results can turn out vice-versa. According to Gvarjaladze, he will be a mediator between creative people and government in order to achieve a well-planned, structured development of the Tbilisi Night Economy. As he mentioned, several stakeholders are involved in process, and interests and needs of all of them will be taken into consideration. It is planned to create a safe and calm living atmosphere for citizens, provide affordable and encouraging environment for business development, and ensure minimal financial participation from the government while working on benefits.