Baku, Azerbaijan | Integrated Area Management Action Plan

Years 2006-07 Location Baku, Azerbaijan People Served 3,200 Area Size 100 hectares Sponsor World Bank
Client Cultural Support Heritage Project Team members François Vigier, Mona Serageldin, John Driscoll
The Walled City of Baku (Icheri Sheher), including the Shirvanshah’s Palace and the Maiden Tower, was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 2000 as “an outstanding and rare example of an historic urban ensemble and architecture with influence from Zoroastrian, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman and Russian cultures.” 

Recent development pressures were cited by UNESCO as a threat to the integrity of Icheri Sheher and the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003.

In 2006, The World Bank financed the preparation of a comprehensive management plan for Baku’s old city that included:


  • Institutional framework for a new administration of the Old City
  • Strategic interventions including necessary infrastructure improvements to remedy current weaknesses and develop its tourism potential
  • Participatory mechanisms to ensure the involvement of stakeholders and the transparency of the decision making process

The management plan prepared by the Institute team (Francois Vigier [PI], Mona Serageldin, John Driscoll, Christa Lee-Chuvala) was adopted by the relevant central and local authorities and endorsed by UNESCO as an appropriate strategy to safeguard and restore the site and guide infrastructure investments.

Back to Library