Ambitions of the Mongolian Government: Realization of Industrialization and Urbanization of Mongolia through the Green Corridor Plan (1975)

The urban formation of Ulaanbaatar has a close relationship with the process of industrialization. The development plan was a capital’s city investment planning which most industrialization occurs in Ulaanbaatar.[1] After Ulaanbaatar had started industrialization in the 1950s, demands for public amenities increased.[2] When the Green Corridor Plan was proposed in the 1970s, Ulaanbaatar was facing rapid economic and population growth[3]. Thus, the Green Corridor Plan can be seen as a response to the industrialization progress and ambition of the Mongolian government to further industrialize and urbanize the country.

During the 14th National Congress of the Mongolian People’s Party in 1960, the government declared to realize socialist industrialization. They decided to transform Mongolia from an agrarian economy to an industrial – agricultural economy.[4] In 1961, Tsedenbal had once told the East German Ambassador that he “wanted the country to catch up with the German Democratic Republic by the mid-1960s”.[5]  These had shown the determination of the Mongolian government in industrializing and urbanizing the country.

The result of such transformation was obvious. The Industry and construction sectors accounted for 14.6% and 6.7% of national income respectively in 1960. In the meantime, the Industry and construction sectors accounted for 22.6% and 5.8% of national income respectively in 1970. The gross industrial output (in constant price level of that in 1967) has increased from 676.8 million tugriks in 1960 to 1733.2 million tugriks in 1970.[6]

To cater for the urban population and to increase the capacity of the ongoing process of industrialization, corresponding urban planning has to be implemented. Along with three industrial and warehousing zones being built on the city edges, new apartment areas were planned to construct for accommodating 47.8% of the population of Ulaanbaatar in the 1970s. Green spaces are designed to separate the zones and to provide leisure spaces.[7]

There were many factors affecting the design of the Green Corridor Plan, including the political influence under the USSR. The Soviet leaders had even criticized the Mongolian leaders being reluctant in investing the rural sector but focusing on industrialization. This was motivated by their self-interest as the USSR wanted to import meat and minerals from Mongolia.[8] Thus, the Green Corridor Plan was not only beneficial to the USSR as a political demonstration but also a tool to realize the ambitions of the Mongolian government.

Fig. 1. Leonid Brezhnev L, First Secretary of the CPSU, and Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal, First Secretary of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, signing the agreement on friendship, cooperation and relations between the USSR and Mongolia. Source: Alamy

 

[1] Chinbat, Bayantur, and Amarsaikhan, “Investigation of the Internal Structure Changes of City Using RS and GIS,” (Faculty of Geography & Geology, National University of Mongolia & Institute of Informatics and RS, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, 2006). Accessed December 14, 2018. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b065/f5366c12f13e76cbb61b4b29fa1b245ff369.pdf.

[2] Robert L. Worden and Andrea Matles Savada, editors, “Mongolia: A Country Study,” (Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989). Accessed December 14, 2018.  http://countrystudies.us/mongolia/

[3] Worden and Savada, Mongolia: A Country Study, The Society, Population.

[4] 趙儒煜,《蒙古國: 從傳統走向現代的草原之國》,香港城市大學出版社,2013,頁45-47。

[5] Balazs Szalontai, “Tsedenbal’s Mongolia and the Communist Aid Donors: A Reappraisal,” Wilson Center, November 22, 2004, accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/tsedenbals-mongolia-and-the-communist-aid-donors-reappraisal

[6] Worden and Savada, Mongolia: A Country Study, The Economy, Foreign Economic Relations and Comecon.

[7] Chinbat, Bayantur, and Amarsaikhan, “Investigation of the Internal Structure Changes,” part 2.

[8] Szalontai, “Tsedenbal’s Mongolia.”

 

Bibliography

Chinbat, Bayantur, and Amarsaikhan, “Investigation of the Internal Structure Changes of City Using RS and GIS.” Faculty of Geography & Geology, National University of Mongolia & Institute of Informatics and RS, Mongolian Academy of Sciences ,2006.

Szalontai, Balazs. Tsedenbal’s Mongolia and the Communist Aid Donors: A Reappraisal. Wilson Center. November 22, 2004. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/tsedenbals-mongolia-and-the-communist-aid-donors-reappraisal

TASS, Leonid Brezhnev L and Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal. 15 January 1966, Photograph, 29.6 x 15.7 cm. ITAR-TASS News Agency/ Alamy Stock Photo, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Available from Alamy: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-ulan-bator-mongolia-leonid-brezhnev-l-first-secretary-of-the-cpsu-80590584.html (accessed December15. 2018).

Worden, Robert L. and Andrea Matles Savada, eds. “Mongolia: A Country Study.” Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989. Accessed December 14, 2018.  http://countrystudies.us/mongolia/

趙儒煜。《蒙古國: 從傳統走向現代的草原之國》。香港: 香港城市大學出版社,2013。

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