Old Yerevan: the Circular Garden

03 July 2020 – Yandex.Taxi has contributed to the UNDP in Armenia “Placemaking: urban co-design as a catalyst for change” project by providing data for comprehensive geographic information system (GIS) analysis.

The analysts of Yandex have researched the road traffic in the streets around Circular Garden area in Yerevan, as well as the most popular driving routes in the neighbourhood and analysed how traffic speeds in specific segments change during the day on business days and weekends throughout different seasons of the year. The research is based on an aggregated, anonymised data. It will be used by UNDP to build a traffic model and create recommendations on how the road infrastructure around the Circular Garden can be developed to provide safer, smarter, and more convenient vehicle and pedestrian movement.

According to the research findings, in Agatangeghos Street towards beginning of Khanjyan Street, the average speed depending on the season is 43-47 km/h, while when moving in opposite direction it hardly ever goes more than 20 km/h. The average speed in the section of Moskovyan Street from Bagramyan Avenue to Abovyan Street is even slower - about 16 km/h in all seasons, reaching 18 km/h in July; and during the evening rush hour, between 6 and 7 pm, it’s only about 9-10 km/h.  The section of Isahakyan Street from Abovyan Street to Mashtots Avenue is probably the slowest of all routes - the average speed on it is about 11 km/h but depending on the day and the season it can fall even to 4-5 km/h.

The analysis of the data and further recommendations will be developed based on the methodology designed by Strelka KB, a Russian urban consulting agency and Spin Unit lab. The final analysis will be published later in August.

UNDP’s long-term goal is to invest in the quality of urban life and change citizens’ behaviour towards public spaces. The project aims at introducing new approaches in public space design by using online and analogue tools of citizen engagement in co-design of selected areas in the Circular Garden.

The Circular Garden is a complex territory (30 hectares) and the largest park in Yerevan, where 80 percent of the grounds are currently private property. The park, created as the “lungs” of the city, has a surrounding population of around 200,000 people. The architecture of selected areas will be chosen by alternative data on human traffic patterns and public space usage. It is noteworthy that the maintenance of public lands was always the responsibility of the state, and privatization led to apathy and lack of ownership over public spaces. The key goal of UNDP is to engage local residents in the process of designing the park, changing their attitude towards this promising public space.

The participation of Strelka KB in the UNDP project in Armenia was made possible by funding from the Russian Federation through the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund’s project on knowledge management.

AboutYandex.Taxi

Yandex.Taxi is an online ride-sharing service launched in 2011 by Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning. It uses its own mapping, routing, and navigation technologies, as well as a machine learning-based order distribution system to reduce the net cost of a cab ride. The service currently operates in 17 countries across the globe. Yandex.Taxi launched in Armenia in 2016 and currently works in 16 cities covering most of country’s regions.

About UNDP in Armenia

UNDP helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience to sustain development results. UNDP has been working to accelerate the development of Armenia for more than 25 years. It works at the upstream policy level, advising on legal and policy frameworks, and implements downstream initiatives, turning projects into policies and policies into actions. UNDP also has enormous reach across the country - in rural and urban areas and amongst a growing network of youth, innovators, and social entrepreneurs.

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