International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies
ISSN: 2028-9324     CODEN: IJIABO     OCLC Number: 828807274     ZDB-ID: 2703985-7
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Ger Districts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Housing and Living Condition Surveys

Volume 4, Issue 2, October 2013, Pages 465–476

 Ger Districts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Housing and Living Condition Surveys

Jean M. Caldieron1

1 School of Architecture, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Original language: English

Copyright © 2013 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mongolia has been facing an onslaught of rural migration to the urban areas with negative consequences. Traditionally the country's economy was based on a survival livestock herding. Nowadays, the country's economic prospects are bright due to rich and abundant mineral deposits. Some researchers believe Mongolia will be the next Dubai. However, the general panorama of the country is not completely brilliant. In Mongolia's growing cities migrants have erected rural nomadic felt tents, known as a ger. The traditional ger are sustainable structures very well adapted for a nomadic society but, when they are located in high-density, unplanned, informal settlements they create many issues. These informal urban areas lack sanitation, adequate vehicular access and other basic services. The traditional use of wood and coal for heating contributes to heavy air pollution, especially in winter. This paper presents some of the findings of more than 100 householder surveys, held in the summer of 2011, related to housing conditions in four informal Ger districts of Ulaanbaatar. This paper describes some aspects of ger households, discusses how quickly the Ger districts are growing and explains their relation to the increasing problems of the city. Finally it concludes how Mongolia needs to develop and grow according with sustainable parameters or its pristine nature and cultural values such as the vernacular architecture will be lost.

Author Keywords: Mongolia economy, Ger districts, informal settlements, householder surveys, felt tents.

How to Cite this Article

Jean M. Caldieron, “Ger Districts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Housing and Living Condition Surveys,” International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 465–476, October 2013.