To receive compensation, the property would have to be “put on the plan,” an expression that means it is marked for demolition. The city would then pay the owners some compensation for the property. While nominally tied to the size of the property, many factors determine how much the city pays, and the system is not transparent, notes Subhan Manafzadeh, an architect at Pilla Studio, which researches urban problems.
Manafzadeh’s colleague Nazakat Azimli adds that the lack of an official master plan for city development makes the process even more opaque.
“There is no approved master plan of Baku that would inform us which areas are meant to be renovated and when. When locals use the expression ‘put on the plan’ they have no reference point for the plan, which could indicate the order for the demolition of the districts and the timeline or could explain how the compensation mechanism would work,” Azimili notes, adding that the last time the city adopted a master plan was in 1986.
“As we don’t have a master plan of Baku, we don’t know the schedule of renovations…and if there is a plan for a city renovation project, most of the time it is either not complete or inaccessible, so we can’t even see it or analyze it.”