A Mixed Blessing: A World Heritage City in Uzbekistan
The city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, has over 2,500 years of history. Today, Samarkand is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its status as a "cultural crossroads." Beginning in 2018, a national tourism policy brought about a sharp rise in foreign visitors, sparking widespread development and infrastructural changes. Locals are hopeful about the economic potential of increased tourism, but worried about the rapid transformation of their city, while UNESCO has asked the government to reconsider its plans. Explore the challenges Samarkand faces as it navigates a tourism boom.
A wall divides Samarkand's tourist attractions from the city's traditional "mahalla" neighborhoods
Architecture expert Jens Jordan has observed the city's rapid transformation
Some locals are opening their "mahalla" homes to guests from abroad