A Campy Song Competition Serves as the Catalyst for Urban Renewal

In Baku, Azerbaijan, the opportunity to host the annual Eurovision song competition in May has served as a catalyst for showing off the city as an untapped luxury tourism hot spot.

Amanda Erickson, a former resident herself, reports on the city's over-the-top preparation for "what amounts, essentially, to a television special." Projects include a new airport terminal, a revamp of major parts of the city center, six new hotels (including a Four Seasons), and a new Cultural Centre.

"As such, Baku isn't leaving any city street untouched. Even the Caspian Sea is in line for a make-over, in the form of a promenade dotted by works from Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor, with a Gehry-designed art museum for good measure. Not bad for a city that, not too long ago, didn't even have any gas stations (men would sell gas out of pickle jars on the side of the road). "

Full Story: In Baku, a Citywide Coming-Out Party for Eurovision

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