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Jumping the shark in Azerbaijan

February 18, 2013

Speaking of excess (below), Trump may be synonymous with over-the-top urban design and popular-culture excess, but he’s small fry compared to Ibrahim Ibrahimov, the guy who’s jumping the shark in Azerbaijan:

Kazar 1


The New York Times has a profile of him and his dream, Khazar Islands:

The result will be a sprawling, lobster-shaped development called Khazar Islands — an archipelago of 55 artificial islands in the Caspian Sea with thousands of apartments, at least eight hotels, a Formula One racetrack, a yacht club, an airport and the tallest building on earth, Azerbaijan Tower, which will rise 3,445 feet.

Khazar 2


All based on oil and gas, of course – and oligarchy capitalism:

If the proposed Nabucco pipeline, running from Turkey to Austria, is built, Azerbaijan would become a conduit for gas reserves, linking Central Asia to Europe. … It could also generate billions of dollars every year for Azerbaijan, which between 2006 and 2008 had the world’s fastest-growing economy, at an average pace of 28 percent annually. …

Ibrahimov said what oligarchs have been saying since Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian industrialist, was exiled to Siberia in 2003: “I don’t know anything about politics.” But “biznessmen” are much more intimately woven into the political fabric of Russia or Azerbaijan than C.E.O.’s in the West. They may wear crocodile-skin shoes, but they rely on the state for pipelines and extraction rights.

What hurts is that it’s so damn ostentatiously ugly.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Thomas Beyer permalink
    September 14, 2014 8:13 am

    Vancouver could learn a thing or three here, and build similar new cities/suburbs in its vast tidal flatlands off Richmond, off Delta, off Surrey, off E-Van or off UBC. Coal Harbour and FalseCreek essentially were ugly industrial areas in the titdal flatlands and now are shiny new urban areas with walkways, bikepaths, restaurants, shops and housing, why not more of it ? Such housing could be a mix of low end for the homeless, lower-mid end affordable rental housing and market rental housing and/or condos.

    One can create more land with the stroke of a pen ! Where is the vision in Vision Vancouver ?


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