Ulaanbaatar the capital city of Mongolia, is the political, economic and cultural centre of the country. The city was founded in 1639.
The name of the city has changed for several times. It was initially named
URGOO in 1639-1706,
IKH KHUREE in 1706-1911,
NIISLEL KHUREE between 1911-1923, and renamed as ULAANBAATAR right after the proclamation of the Mongolian People's republic in 1924.
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the main gate for trips to any destination within Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar is located on the bank of the Tuul River and surrounded by four sacred mountains. Well-known as a sunny, peaceful and open city, Ulaanbaatar is a city of contrasts where modern life comfortably blends with Mongolian traditional lifestyle.
Ulaanbaatar city is situated in the foothills of the Khentii mountain range. It is situated in the valley of the Tuul River, which flows from east to west in this location. Mountains and hill slopes define the northern (Chingeltei Uul) and southern (Bogd Uul) limits of the city. There are also mountains to the east (Bayanzurkh Uul) and west (Songino Khairkhan Uul), but the river valley and its tributaries provide some open land in these directions. Ulaanbaatar experiences an arid continental climate and has four distinctive seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. The summer extends from June to August when the average temperature is 15 oC. Snowfall starts intermittently towards the end of the autumn. Winter extends from December to the end of February and is mostly cold with the average monthly temperature in February being –19oC. The minimum temperature reaches (minus) - 40oC during this period. The rainy season is from June to August, when about 74 percent of the annual rainfall occurs. The average annual rainfall for the last 20 years is 267 mm. The rapid population growth of Ulaanbaatar city located in the sensitive ecosystem adds to its vulnerability to natural hazards. Population of Ulaanbaatar city has been growing rapidly, due to mass migration of people from natural hazard prone rural areas to the city. Comparing with historical maps one can see the dramatic increase of urbanization and expansion of settled areas along the river basins and flood prone zones because of the intensive migration from rural to urban area of the last few years (Figure 1). Since 1986 the population of the city has nearly doubled. Existing statistical data shows that there was an increase in the number of poor people living in Ulaanbaatar till 2001. However, for the following years, which have had more intensive rural to urban migration, data on poverty is not available.