Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. Settled in north-central Mongolia, located on the Tuul River bank at an elevation of 1,350 m. The city began as a seasonal migratory abode of the Mongolian princes and in 1639 eventually accomplished permanence on the present site with the construction of Da Khure Monastery. This building became the habitation of the bodgo-gegen and continued as such for around 200 years. Da Khure has become well-known trade center between China and Russia. The city was renamed Niislel Khuree which means the capital of Mongolia during Outer Mongolia declared itself independent in 1911. In 1921 it was controlled by troops of Mongolia’s revolutionary leader, Damdiny Sühbaatar, and the Soviet Red Army. When Mongolia was declared a people’s republic in 1924, the city was renamed Ulaanbaatar, which means “Red Hero.”
The Soviet helped to plan new city while Sühbaatar Square, site of a government building, a history museum, and the national theatre were central features of that planning. The city is also the site of the National University of Mongolia (1942), several professional and technical schools, and the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar is the main industrial center of Mongolia. An industrial complex produces a variety of consumer goods. There are cement, iron, and brick works; footwear and garment factories; vehicle-repair works; food-processing plants; and other factories. A railroad and an international airport connect the city with China and Russia.
2. Current environmental issues
Ulaanbaatar City has expanded rapidly as its population increased even more in a decade. At present, the population is about 1.3 million with half of the population of Mongolia living in the capital city. The urban characteristics of Ulaanbaatar are different from other growing cities in Asia with thought to a cold climate, history of nomadic life, socialistic-based urban planning system, etc. After democratization and reform to the capitalist economy in 90’s and land privatization to citizens, UB City has faced various urban issues such as an uncontrolled expansion of urban areas, traffic congestion, unstable urban economy and market, infrastructure gap, hazard risk, worsening living environment, pollutions, and inappropriate urban management.
At present, air pollution has become one of the most tackled issues of every citizen living in the capital city. The main source of air pollution is ger-area which can be 60-70% source of air pollution. Twenty percent of Mongolia’s population has migrated to Ulaanbaatar over the past three decades. The Dzud is kind of natural disaster that has driven many to leave their traditional way of living herding cattle and sheep and move to the capital. Dzud is an ultra-cold-weather event supposed to occur in five-yearly cycles but has been increasing in through the country. The dzuds reduce the farmers’ livelihoods, and due to lack of political systems, the only option left is to move to Ulaanbaatar and get a work. The people migrate to the city with their gers, the amount of stoves increases too, each belting out enough fire to cook three meals a day and burn the cold gers through the wintertime.
Ger is Mongolian traditional house that is very suitable for nomadic people who move very frequently. However, the ger is not convenient for living in city area because of hazard risk, no connection of water, drainage, sewerage, heating, solid waste collection, etc. The ger areas have no running water or waste disposal, while school and health hospital are massively exceed by citizens.