Since the late 2000′s, with Mongolia opening its doors to foreign investments, the face of the capital city, Ulan Bator is changing. As on one side, the economy is booming and foreign companies are moving into high rise modern towers occupied by fancy restaurants and luxury shops, the north of the city is developing towards another direction.
With the coldest winters ever recorded in 2008 / 2009, thousands of herders have left the countryside hoping to find a job in the city. But with the government sharing the wealth from the mine in cash instead of infrastructure, poor people are accumulating on the hills north of Ulan Bator, creating a slum of Gers and small houses. With no access to water and sometimes electricity, they are burning their trash and coal to warm themselves in the winter, creating a suffocating cloud of pollution above the Ulan Bator.
At the same time, foreign educated mongolians and the new wealthy part of the population are experiencing fast changes and an access to an exclusive lifestyle, yet inaccessible for the majority of mongolia’s inhabitants.