The population of Tbilisi stands at about 1.2 million people, a slight increase from the previous year. Tbilisi lies in the banks of the Mtkvari River, and it is key for the historically famous Silk Road. The region lies between 380 to 770 meters above sea level (Rimple & Mielnikiewicz, 2019). Tbilisi is at the center of the mountains, which gives it a humid climate. Some of the transport systems that are found in Tbilisi and which the Green Infrastructure seeks to address include road, rail, and air transport. The minibus is the most used means of transport in the city and contributes to the greatest percentage of air pollution.
Population Statistics in Tbilisi (“Tbilisi City Hall,” 2018).Tbilisi is the capital city of the Republic of Georgia and is one of Georgia’s largest city. The city is strategically located and is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and this makes it a suitable place for the development of infrastructure, trade, and other investment projects in the region (Deloitte, 2019).
The figure below shows the map of Tbilisi. On one side is the National Park of Tbilisi, Tbilisi Reservoir, and Mtkvari River, which are some of the features that the implementation of the Green Infrastructure targets.
The administrative structure of Tbilisi is headed by a Mayor who is the highest-ranking official. Besides, the Mayor is the head of the Tbilisi Government. The administrative structure also consists of deputy mayors, heads of city offices, and governors.
Tbilisi is important, not just as an economic and cultural center for Georgia but also as a major business hub for the region. 42% of Georgia’s total GDP comes from Tbilisi (Deloitte, 2019). The GDP forecast for Georgia is as shown below.
The Green City Action Plan in Tbilisi, Georgia
While a region such as Tbilisi is above the national average in terms of the innovation index, most of the other regions are usually below the national average. The differences in these are rooted in various factors such as infrastructure, education, as well as generation knowledge capacities in these regions. Considered cumulatively, the level of innovation in Georgia is low. There lacks skillful manpower to come with innovative measures to deal with some of the problems that hail the country. For example, countries that have the innovative power to make vehicles have designed models that produce fewer fumes while others have even attempted to make electric cars. Such measures are not possible to apply in Tbilisi as the country lacks such innovative skills.
Gont (2017) stated that there are efforts to make Tbilisi a green city under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) program. The major aim of these programs is to make Tbilisi, which is the capital of Georgia, a secure, clean, and safe city for the citizens. The Green City Action Plan is already at work, and a great number of citizens are set to benefit from the change of their city. Policymakers and developers are keen on transforming Tbilisi to a modern city that is both safe and secure for the citizens under the guiding principles of Green Infrastructure. Although there have been several problems that are being experienced, the stakeholders are confident that they will overcome them and transform the city for good.
Gont (2017) listed a number of things that the authorities have planned on fulfilling. As Gont (2017) noted, some of the plans include measures to make better areas such as local industry development, solid waste management, water, and wastewater services as well as energy efficiency, among others. Transport and energy sufficiency are also part of the plan, and the authorities are keen on addressing these issues as soon as possible. A proper address of these issues will lead to a better city that is safer and cleaner.
Part of the driving force towards Tbilisi’s transformation is the role it serves both to the residents and outsiders. As Gont (2017) noted, Georgia obtained independence in 1991, and since then, it has been attracting a high number of visitors, and the number has continued to surge year in year out. As such, the authorities found it better to transform the city to make it a safer tourist destination. While many tourists prefer visiting the city to enjoy its heritage, Tbilisi has reached the limits due to age, and a high number of the infrastructure is considered outdated.
Gont (2017) observed that in 2013, Tbilisi registered around 400,000 cars, and out of these, 74 percent were more than 15 years old. While this may not sound alarming at the surface level, it needs to arouse the concept that the older the car, the more toxic the fumes it is likely to emit. This shows that with the rising number of old cars being registered in Tbilisi, the higher the pollution arising from car fumes. The whole world is struggling with reducing emissions from vehicles by either using alternative sources of fuels or registering newer cars and doing away with the older cars. However, this seems not to be the case for Georgia, the more the reason for the implementation of the Green City Action Plan.
Research by Salata and Yiannakou (2016) showed that about 90 percent of air pollution in the cities across the world are as a result of transport, especially where diesel-powered vehicles are considered some of the significant contributors. Cognizant of this, the authorities in Tbilisi are committed to streamlining the transport sector to reduce emissions, which leads to pollution. Some of the measures that have been employed include reducing the levels of congestion and improving traffic flows.
Deloitte (2019). file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/Tbilisi_City_Hall_Investment_Sectoral_Research.pdf
Gont, M. (2017). Tbilisi Green City Action Plan approved by local authorities. EBR. https://www.ebrd.com/news/2017/tbilisi-green-city-action-plan-approved-by-local-authorities.html
Rimple, P., & Mielnikiewicz, J. (2019). The fixer: Tbilisi, Georgia. Foreign Policy, (211), 86-87. www.jstor.org/stable/24577657.
Salata, K. & Yiannakou, A. (2016). Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Adaptation. TeMA: Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment. 9. 10.6092/1970-9870/3723.Tbilisi City Hall (2018). file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/tbilisiinfigures.pdf
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