Gyumri has been placed on the map of our target locations for tourism and urban development programs due to its strategic geographic location, access to the international airport, railroad and main highways, rich cultural heritage and touristic attractiveness, booming IT and high-tech industry, and many other reasons.
In 2018, IDeA came up with a new initiative for the restoration and redevelopment of the Friendship
Park in Gyumri. This project reflects IDeA’s commitment to empower the local community, foster social
and economic change and contribute to the sustainable future of Gyumri and future generations. It is a
unique project, which provides a blend of commercial, social and philanthropic components while
building on Private- Public Partnerships.
The multi-year feasibility study revealed that, since 1988, the city has become divided into unconnected zones. We believe that the development of the park in the area will create a link between the historic center, the industrial and residential zones of the city. This notion becomes more feasible, considering that the area neighboring the park is one of the most active residential and industrial zones in the city. With its central location, the area is rich in diverse visitor flows, such as residents, university/college students, school kids and hospital visitors.
In order to design a park that will most effectively serve the community, discussions were held with a wide range of community members. As a result of those discussions, the key needs of the city and then the components of the park were mapped. Based on these discussions, as well as the extensive research that was undertaken, the famous German landscape architect Udo Dagenbach designed the park.
In its current design, the park occupies 7.2 hectares and combines components of three focus areas:
The park will generate a socio-economic impact throughout its lifecycle, starting from temporary job creation and investment in the economy during the construction, continuing with permanent local job creation, support to local business creation and expansion, as well as contributing to the local economy during park operations through increased tourism.
In the Middle Ages, Ani was an important capital city, a place where the world trade routes connecting
the West with the East and the North with the South crossed. It was one of the focal points of the
Armenian world, and its fall in 1045 marked the beginning of the loss of Armenia’s own statehood, a
stage which continued for many centuries. The idea of creating a modern observation deck, which offers
a breathtaking view of the medieval Armenian capital Ani, the city of “forty gates and a thousand and
one churches”, destroyed by earthquakes and conquerors, is aimed to be brought to life.
Just a short distance from modern Armenia’s capital Yerevan and its second largest city Gyumri, its location on the highway between these two cities makes the observation deck easily accessible. The unique architectural appearance of Armenian churches – masterpieces of medieval architecture – for which Ani was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016, will become a wonderful new tourist attraction, attracting travelers from all corners of the globe.
The project has already drew attention of several international organizations, and it is planned to implement the project in cooperation with these potential stakeholders. The project involves the creation of an observation deck and associated infrastructure: an access road, car parking, cafes, a park and other facilities.
The project is currently in the earliest concept stage with the involvement of partners. It will fit well into the new ecosystem being created for the benefit of the Armenian world.