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Since its first encounters with Armenia in 2006, USF has multiplied its contacts with the local authorities in order to organise in 2009 an international symposium about: “Town planning and Development Tools”.

USF team endeavoured to identify Yerevan’s specific urban issues in order to set the stage for a constructive debate at the 2009 symposium. The diagnosis established by USF reveals that the fast urbanisation of Yerevan since the Armenian Republic’s independence, in 1991, affects in particular:

- Privatisation of the major subsidised housing units
- Land and property speculation
- Disappearance of social diversity within the city centre
- Urban sprawl
- Reduction of public transport services
- Urban chaos and proliferation of construction sites all over the city and especially within the city centre

USF led a reflexion as well concerning the new 2005 Yerevan’s Master Plan in order to suggest legal and institutional elements as well as new development tools.

Besides, the other cities of the Armenian province suffer from the lack of developing tools, financial and technical means, particularly concerning urban rehabilitation, protection of architectural heritage and natural environment.

Given that particular context and in order to study these questions, USF prepared the symposium programme in partnership with the Armenian Town Planning Ministry and Yerevan’s City Council with the contribution of Yerevan’s State University of Architecture and Construction as well as the Union of Armenia’s Architects.

Concurrently with the symposium presentation, USF led several reflexions with the Armenian local authorities of Yerevan, Gumri, Spitak, and Garni …etc.

Armenia suffered a major earthquake in 1988. The marks of such disaster are still visible in Gumri and Spitak, the cities which were the more violently hit by the earthquake. USF started as well preliminary reflexions to suggest complete reconstruction projects for the stricken districts.

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