Does urban renewal signify progress? That question has dogged city planners worldwide for decades. And nowhere is the matter more pertinent these days than in Baku, the Caspian seaside capital of Azerbaijan.
Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, will host the Eurovision 2012 song contest in just a few months. Given that the wildly popular TV event provides the Azerbaijani government a showcase for the energy-rich South Caucasus nation, efforts to spruce up the city are already in full swing. But an initiative designed to tackle Baku’s stray dog problem is sparking complaints from animal rights activists.