Will the next generation live in gers? Children’s perspectives on the future of Mongolian traditional dwellings in urbanizing times

Ricelli Laplace Resende, Erdenebuyan Enkhjargal

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Mongolia is known as the land without fences, renowned for its nomadic herder population inhabiting the countryside. Today, between 25 and 40 percent of the population in Mongolia continues to follow a traditional nomadic way of life, moving seasonally with their animals to pasture areas. Central to this lifestyle is the traditional Mongolian mobile dwelling, the ger— a round-shaped portable wooden structure supported by two central poles and covered with felt layers made of sheep wool. In recent years, uncertainty about climate conditions (such as an increase in dzud phenomena), shifts to market-oriented economic models, and state policies that neglect rural area development, have driven many rural families to move to the city and leave behind their traditional lifestyle. Attesting
to the trend of rapid urbanization, the population of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s largest city and capital, has more than doubled since the 1980s. Currently, the majority of herders that move to the city allocate in “ger districts", where 60% of the urban population lives. With these changes in the landscape of Mongolian architecture, this study focuses on the perspectives of rural children still living in gers, examining the circumstances facing Mongolian herder families and the cultural shift from rural to the urban lifestyle. Through children’s participatory drawing; semi-structured interview survey conducted with children and parents; and participatory observation, this study analyzes the present challenges for the future of traditional Mongolian lifestyle and architecture through the perspectives of children, the next generation. At the
crossroad of traditional rural life and urbanization, these children are key stakeholders who will shape what Mongolian architecture will look like in the future. Our study found that most of the children picture their future in urban settlements and economic conditions, gender, and geographical isolation (more or less contact with urban areas) influence children’s perspectives. On the other hand, some still dream of a place where modern infrastructure and traditional dwellings meet. This suggests that there remains a desire among the next generation to preserve traditional Mongolian ways of life and culture.
We conclude that in order to foster the resilience of traditional Mongolian culture and attend to the changing needs of future generations, we suggest that policies to support nomadic households should be prioritized. Future research and collaboration with architects, planners, and communities are needed to better understand the necessities and adjustments that could be implemented in the traditional ger towards meeting the present needs of their residents while
maintaining elements of traditional Mongolian architecture.
TitelArchi-Cultural Interactions through the Silkroad : Proceedings of 5th International Conference
Antal sider3
UdgivelsesstedUlaanbaatar, Mongolia
ForlagBahçeşehir University
Publikationsdato24 jun. 2019
StatusUdgivet - 24 jun. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa
Begivenhed5th International Conference of Silkroad Universities: Archi-cultural interactions through the silkroad - Mongolia University of Science and Technology, Ulaanbaatar, Mongoliet
Varighed: 24 jun. 201926 jun. 2019


Konference5th International Conference of Silkroad Universities
LokationMongolia University of Science and Technology

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

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