The Tumo Phenomenon


73% of Yerevan residents regularly visit parks, but few people recognize the importance of green zones for the city.

Parks are not only places for exercise and relaxation, but also for meetings. For the city, it is equally important that its residents maintain good health and strong social ties with fellow community members. As a common gathering place, parks foster a sense of belonging to the community, promote respect towards fellow members, and instill the habit of taking care of shared property.

In addition to their social significance, parks also serve an environmental purpose. Trees help filter the city’s polluted air to some extent, retain moisture, and create favorable conditions for insectivorous birds to live.

Beyond their social and environmental importance, parks also play a significant role in shaping a city’s image. Green is one of the most prominent colors on the canvas of any metropolis. The Hanging Gardens were the most important calling card of ancient Babylon, while today, Tokyo takes pride in its Imperial Gardens.

The modern era demands innovative solutions, and parks are evolving into increasingly complex and multifunctional spaces. For example, the new Zaryadye Park in Moscow also serves as a museum, showcasing the unique flora from all climate zones of Russia. Similarly, New York’s High Line, built on a former elevated railway, not only provides a green space for leisure and relaxation but has also become a new hub that boosts tourism and economic potential in the surrounding district.

Yerevan’s parks still serve limited functions; however, it is interesting to observe which parks the city’s residents visit the most.

In our recent research*, we asked the residents of Yerevan about the parks they frequently visit. As expected, the majority of respondents favored parks within their respective administrative districts. However, there were also a significant number of individuals who mentioned visiting Tumo Park from various areas of the city.

Explaining the Tumo Park phenomenon is not difficult. One of the park’s notable features is its ability to cater to people of different ages and preferences by offering a diverse range of activities. This is an important aspect of a great park. Additionally, the park has a relatively well-developed infrastructure, including a range of seating options, grassy areas for relaxation, evening lighting, a designated area for animals, exercise and recreation equipment for children, an area for barbecue, as well as convenient transportation access. The park’s landscape and geometric diversity are also important. It is asymmetrical, featuring a variety of trees and shrubs, as well as landscape elements like streams and hills. Even the paths have different surfaces: paved, asphalt, grass, and unpaved, providing choices for individuals, groups, and pet owners who prefer walking, running, or cycling. Certainly, Tumo has lagged behind the latest global trends, but it remains unparalleled in Yerevan, making it a source of pride for residents of Ajapnyak to have such a fantastic recreation spot.

*The “Yerevan, Yerevan residents and problems” research is carried out every year among the adult population of Yerevan. The multi-stage quota sample for 2020 included 1,218 respondents. The research was conducted via telephone surveys (CATI) between July 17 and 23, with a data accuracy of α=95% and a margin of error of Δ=±2.45%.