Following the 2018 popular, non-violent revolution in Armenia, new authorities undertook a number of reforms in different areas aiming to improve the situation and mitigate the social injustice that had accumulated throughout the years. However, despite the fact public discontent for years had a lot to do with issues related to urban development, conservation of historical and cultural heritage and public areas, these issues are now ignored by the current government.

No changes have been taking place in the sector of regional development and urban planning. Some positive steps, such as the partial decommissioning of structures in the park adjacent to the Freedom Square are random, irregular and not based on a specific policy. We mostly see the old faulty habits carry on in the sector (including illegal construction) particularly in Yerevan.

It should be noted that it was during the watch of the current government formed after the 2018 revolution that the building of the Little Singers of Armenia located at 23 Aram Street collapsed, the house of Aram Manukyan located at 9 Aram Street, the building of Armenian State Publication (HayPetHrat) continue to deteriorate. A number of buildings and areas that were supposed to be granted the status of historical and cultural monuments and become part of our heritage are now in danger, including District 33 (Firdusi) and the Dalma Gardens. The building of the former ministry of education located at 13 Khorentsi Street has been demolished.

The situation has become worse now when despite Covid-19 some forms of economic activities have been allowed during the state of emergency, including construction. In a situation where gatherings have been banned, construction companies find themselves in a conducive situation for carrying out their illegal activities.

While appreciating the importance of economic development, we call on the Armenian Government, as well as the Yerevan Municipality and other local self-government bodies to review their approach and immediately undertake radical reforms in areas of regional development and urban planning.

Random and irregular construction is not urban development but rather a non-professional and dangerous management of the sector. It is very much urgent to come out of the vicious cycle and initiate both short-term and long-term changes. It is incumbent to undertake in-depth and fundamental reforms in the sector of urban development. At the same time, we, the undersigned organizations and specialists, do hereby express our willingness to work in any format to support and participate in the identification of the issues, their comprehensive discussion, including the discussion of long-term and wide-ranging reforms.

The statement is open for joining.

  1. Committee for the Protection of Yerevan's Heritage
  2. Transparency International Anticorruption Center
  3. urbanlab
  4. UrbanLab Foundation
  5. Helsinki Association
  6. Journalists' Club Asparez
  7. Four Equal Rights NGO
  8. Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
  9. Public Awareness and Monitoring Center NGO
  10. Consumers Support Center NGO
  11. Contact Plus Human Rights NGO
  12. Green Armenia environmental and educational NGO
  13. Condominiums Development Association NGO
  14. LogoS Human Rights Defense NGO
  15. Consumers Consulting Center NGO
  16. Dalma-Sona Foundation
  17. Sose Women's Issues NGO
  18. Women's Support Center NGO
  19. Shogher Union Social & Educational NGO
  20. Public Journalism Club NGO
  21. Armavir Development Center NGO
  22. "Artsvabuyn Zeytun" NGO
  23. Lore Eco Club NGO
  24. "NGO Center" Civil Society Development NGO
  25. Women's Forum NGO
  26. Tatevik Charitable NGO
  27. Social Justice NGO
  28. Martuni Women's Community Council NGO
  29. Green Armenia NGO
  30. Territorial Development and Research Center NGO
  31. Farmers' Movement NGO
  32. Biosofia NGO
  33. Goris Press Club NGO
  34. "Trust" Health NGO
  35. EcoTeam NGO
  36. Ecolur NGO
  37. Freedom of Information Center NGO
  38. Khoran Ard Intellectual Center NGO
  39. Elegia Educational & Cultural NGO
  40. Association for Sustainable Human Development NGO
  41. GUM NGO
  42. Civic Youth Center NGO
  43. Women's Rights House NGO
  44. Children's Society NGO
  45. Angel Social NGO
  46. Compass Research Training and Consultancy Center NGO
  47. Young Syunik Youth NGO
  48. Democracy Today NGO
  49. Aragatsotn Press Club NGO
  50. "Mush" Development Center NGO
  51. Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Centre
  52. Uniting Bridge SNGO
  53. Spitak Helsinki Group NGO
  54. Hope and Future NGO
  55. "Tatev" Regional and Cultural NGO
  56. Youth cooperation center of Dilijan NGO