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Baku: Oil and Urbanism BAKU: OIL AND URBANISM

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and formerly part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, is a city built on oil. Since the 1890s – when the Russian branch of the Nobel family modernized the oil industry in Baku and local oil barons poured their new wealth into building a cosmopolitan city center – oil and urbanism have been completely intertwined, economically, politically, and physically in the spaces of the city.

Baku: Oil and Urbanism examines how urban design, planning, and architecture have dealt with the issue of oil in varying political conditions over the course of Baku’s modern development. Working with maps, plans, archival photographs, and using innovative methodologies to analyze sites, buildings, contemporary and historical urban fabric, built and unbuilt projects, the book explores the interrelation of urbanism and oil in the evolution of the city, and its characteristic urban morphologies and distinctive dynamics. 

Principal Investigator

Eve Blau, Adjunct Professor Urban Planning and Design


Iwan Baan, Iwan Baan Photography

Sasa Randic, University of Split

Ivan Rupnik (PhD ’13), Northeastern University

GSD Research Team

Steven Chen (MAUD ‘12))

Christina Crawford (PhD, ‘15)

Anne Schmidt (MAUD ‘12)

Arthur Terry (MAUD ’14)

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