Residents from Tsalkovskovo Street have been battling a developer in an attempt to save their homes [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Located over 80 hectares (198 acres) of land in the centre of Uzbekistan’s capital, “Tashkent City”, a state-led flagship project, marks a new beginning in the country’s history. 

It includes a sky-high, glass-clad Hilton hotel, manicured green lawns leading to an enormous fountain, and artificial trees shaped into a veritable menagerie of animals.

Ever-present speakers play Western pop music from the 1980s and 1990s while workers rush to meet the opening date – when the first phase of the project will be revealed.

It is a symbol of modernisation, Uzbekistan’s opening up to the world, foreign investment and forward thinking. 


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