EGU22-9924, updated on 09 Jan 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Cartographic Retrospective of spatial and temporal changes of gardens and parks in Tbilisi

Nino Kharebava1, Dali Nikolaishvili2, and Mariam Tsitsagi3
Nino Kharebava et al.
  • 1Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia (
  • 2Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia (
  • 3TSU, Vakhushti Bagrationi Institute of Geography, Tbilisi, Georgia (

Growth and development of the city lead to a drastic change in the natural environment, which causes a lot of environmental problems. Among the problems is the reduction and destruction of green cover. In Georgian cities, green cover can be found in two primary forms: natural habitats (which is currently very rare) and gardens (artificially cultivated, often for decorative purposes) and parks (synthesis of vegetation and entertainment attractions, which is a relatively latter form). The capital, Tbilisi, is an ancient city, and therefore it has gone through several stages of urban development, which logically led to the reduction of green space. The research aims to systematically map space and time changes in gardens and parks in Tbilisi. A geodatabase was created based on historical narrative sources, ancient maps, city plans, and satellite imagery in Arcmap 10.8, based on which a retrospective spatial analysis of gardens and parks in Tbilisi was performed. First, gardens and parks were identified; their location, area, vegetation types, changes, and primary drivers were determined and analyzed. The maps of Tbilisi from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries were used as a cartographic basis. They are compiled into different scales and projections. All the maps were georeferenced, and the gardens given in the historical sources are identified. In addition, Soviet topographic maps and satellite imagery (CORONA and aerial photography) were used to reconstruct the changes that took place in the 20th century. Based on the obtained results, it turns out that gardening was quite developed in Tbilisi in the Middle Ages. Mostly, oriental style gardens predominated. There were two main directions: publicly available gardens in the city area and gardens arranged around the noble palaces. In this case, in addition to local varieties (mostly broadleaf), varieties imported from different countries were also used. The city's green cover has been declining since the 19th century amid rapid urbanization. The replacement of gardens in the city with built-up areas begins. In the first half of the 20th century, coniferous plants (mostly pine) were planted intensively, and coniferous vegetation became the dominant type in gardens or parks (later). Since the second half of the 20th century, a new type of recreational places appeared- the park. It is a kind of synthesis, where attractions, open-air cafes, and children's spaces are arranged with a green cover. Arranging such parks was part of Tbilisi's master plans. Amid the complex social, political, and economic situation in the country since the 1990s, small parks have begun to disappear amid uncontrolled urban sprawl, compounded by the massive decline of coniferous vegetation in the face of the city's climate change (urban heat island) or/and parasites. Recently, the restoration of gardens and parks has become particularly active. It is part of the city’s new General plan.

How to cite: Kharebava, N., Nikolaishvili, D., and Tsitsagi, M.: Cartographic Retrospective of spatial and temporal changes of gardens and parks in Tbilisi, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9924,, 2022.


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