DERBENT: A CULTURAL CROSSROADS

On 19 November 2019, the NOVAYA consortium won the two-stage Open International Competition for the Development of a Master Plan for the Derbent Urban District

On 19 November 2019, the NOVAYA consortium won the two-stage Open International Competition for the Development of a Master Plan for the Derbent Urban District. Under the leadership of NOVAYA (Russia/UK), the multidisciplinary team consisted of Mae Architects (UK), APRELarchitects (Russia), Groupe Huit (France), West 8 (Netherlands), and the Higher School of Economics (Russia). Based on the guiding principle of a “vibrant city”, the project includes a development concept for Derbent’s 12-kilometre embankment and a detailed plan for initial construction along a 2.5-kilometre priority section.

 

The city of Derbent is 121 kilometres southeast of Makhachkala, capital of the Republic of Dagestan in the Russian Federation. Derbent is Dagestan’s second-largest city and one of the oldest cities in the world. It is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, on the foothills of the Tabasaran Mountains of the Greater Caucasus, and stands at the closing point of a narrow coastal strip known as the Derbent Passage or the Caspian Gates. The historic city centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its citadel, ancient town, and fortress buildings.

 

 

Derbent’s coastal setting, favourable climate, natural resources, cultural heritage, and strategic importance make it a development priority with outstanding potential. The NOVAYA consortium master plan will help the city build a foundation for medium-term socio-economic and spatial development. Besides charting a course for Derbent’s internal transformation, the plan will help the city become a catalyst for Dagestan’s fuller integration into the federal and international economies.

 

The competition was administered by the “I Love Derbent” charity foundation and organised by the CENTER Agency for Strategic Development. The other two shortlisted teams were led by IND Architects and the Genplan Institute of Moscow, respectively.