Eco Town: Building community in Ulaanbaatar’s outskirts

Ecotown On a hillside overlooking the western end of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, rests Eco Town, a community served by an organization that is trying to improve life in the city’s unplanned settlements known as ger districts. Eco Town is the name of an NGO run by Odgerel Gansukh, a man who has a vision of community … Continue reading Eco Town: Building community in Ulaanbaatar’s outskirts

Making the invisible visible: Building a network of mobile air pollution sensors for Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar on October 8, 2018, with pollution haze visible. The worst pollution, though, is what you don't see. One of my main interests in Mongolia has been the air pollution, and I’ve been talking to different people about the problem and their solutions for it. I had a chance to tour Froit VanderHarst’s energy efficient … Continue reading Making the invisible visible: Building a network of mobile air pollution sensors for Mongolia

GerHub: “Common Problems, Uncommon Solutions”

Urban UB with ger areas stretching up on the surrounding hillsides Shortly before I left Mongolia last June, I had the opportunity to meet with Enkhjin Batjargal, the CEO of GerHub, in their offices in Club Coworking, a shared workspace on the 13th floor of the ICC Tower in downtown Ulaanbaatar. The nongovernmental organization (NGO) … Continue reading GerHub: “Common Problems, Uncommon Solutions”

Springtime in Mongolia and the miasma theory of disease

It finally really seems like spring here in Ulaabaatar. After a crazy dust/mud/windstorm last Sunday that brought some real rain in its wake, we started to notice tiny new leaves on a couple of trees on our walk through the neighborhood. The evergreens are green again, after a winter of being encrusted in black soot … Continue reading Springtime in Mongolia and the miasma theory of disease

An energy efficient house in Ulaanbaatar

Down a narrow dirt lane off a chaotic intersection in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, lives a man many people would regard as eccentric. He is Froit VanderHarst, originally from the Netherlands, but he has lived in Mongolia for 12 years now. I found out about him through a student of mine who interviewed him for a Mongolian … Continue reading An energy efficient house in Ulaanbaatar

What living in life-threatening air pollution feels like

Sun through the pollution I’ve been wanting to write about what the air pollution here in Ulaanbaatar feels like for a while now. My experience of it has been sheltered compared to most people who live in the city. But it does affect me, and it affects how I live here, so it has made … Continue reading What living in life-threatening air pollution feels like