|— Commune —|
|• Prefect||Gocha Gochitashvili|
Kaspi (Varkan: კასპი) is a commune in Western Varkana, and the third largest in the country with a population of about 576,008 inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited more than 5,000 years ago. Its metropolitan area, the Greater Kaspi Area, has a population of roughly 2.7 million inhabitants.
Kaspi is a transport hub, being the 3rd largest port in Varkana, and one of the largest in the Mesogean Sea. It has become a media and industrial center, with plants and facilities belonging to Qhar, Motoko and Delta. The telecommunications group Televar, public television broadcaster STV, and publishers such as ?? and ?? are pillars of the important media industry in the commune. Kaspi has been an important financial center for centuries, and is the seat of the Varkan Stock Exchange.
The city is a notable tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. It is the host city of the annual Kaspi Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in Adonia. Kaspi is a Beta city.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Cityscape
- 6 Culture
- 7 Sports
- 8 Government
- 9 Education
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Notable people
- 12 Partner cities
- 13 See also
20th and 21st centuries
Kaspi sits on a peninsula extending westward into the Iremian Sea. It is flanked by the Kaspian Mountains and has taken on a triangular shape, largely influenced by its situation between and atop two hills. The coast is rather diverse, with rocky beaches, sandy shores and cliffs situated beside one another.
Boroughs and districts
The 2016 census recorded more than 576,008 people in the commune, making it the 17th largest in Varkana. The Greater Kaspi Area counts 2,722,727 inhabitants, and is the fourth largest combined statistical area in the country. 65% of the inhabitants were born in Western Varkana, with a 25% coming from the rest of Varkana. Of the 10% from other countries, a proportion which has more than quadrupled since 2001 when it was 2.1%, the majority come from (in order) Aetolia, Vasaras, Daras, Echia, Kotcija, Beja, Wolffrea and Sakalia. The commune has the largest non-religious community in Varkana, 324,673 people in the commune are either atheist or agnostic, or around 20% of the population. The city also has the largest Svanetian community in Varkana, with an estimated 64,500 Svanetians living in the commune.
Kaspi's economy is dominated by the telecommunication and media sectors, as well as finances, tourism, construction, manufacturing and electronics. Kaspi's scenic location makes it a major tourist destination. Many visit to see the commune's unique architecture and the mountains, sea, forest and parklands which surround the commune. The Varkan Stock Exchange is also located in the commune.
Kaspi's architecture is unique among cities in Varkana for historical and geographic reasons. Due to heavy bombardment and fighting in the commune during the Great Adonian War, most of the city was reconstructed after the war, and up to the 1960s. Rationalism and brutalism dominated the new Kaspian skyline well into the 1970s. Few of the brutalist buildings remain, however, as many were demolished and new constructions built, although still in modernist styles, during the 1980s. After the 2000s, the cityscape started to change again. Outdated planning laws mean there are currently no formal height restrictions in the commune. If a building is set back far enough from the street then there are no restriction at all, and developers over the last two decades have used this to their advantage. In the 4th district, in the west of the city center, a 50-storey building is being built, replacing four-storey art deco buildings. This pattern is being replicated all over the commune. Historic buildings are ripped down for unplanned high-rise residential and mixed-use development contrasting in proportion. As a result, Kaspi has the most high-rises of any commune in Varkana.
SK Kaspi is the commune's most important football club and competes in the Pirveli Divizionis, where it has won the most league titles of all clubs at 24 since 1917, playing at the Televar Stadionze, the largest privately-owned stadium in Varkana. RK Kaspi is a rugby club competing in Liga 1, where it has won five titles since its entry in the league in 1892.
The Kaspi University is the only higher education institution in the commune, but with a student population of 213,464 in 2014, it is the fourth largest university in Varkana.
Kaspi Central station is the third largest railway station by passenger traffic in Varkana behind Klow Central and Senaki Central, and acts as a major hub for SARK, the national state railway network. Freight services operate to local industries and to the Port of Kaspi. SARK's MSM high-speed rail system, which is designed for speeds of 350 km/h, connects the commune with the rest of the country, most notably Klow through the MSR Kaspi, Chiatura, through the MSR Dasavleti, Salona, Echia, through the MSR Salona, and Adygekale, Svaneti through the MSR Mtkavari.
Kaspi has an extensive tram system, one of the largest tram network in Adonia. In 2015, 388 million passenger trips were made by tram. Kaspi's tram network consists of 270 km of track, 1,103 trams, 27 routes, and 1,822 tram stops. Around 90 per cent of Kaspi's tram network shares road space with other vehicles, while the rest of the network is separated or are light rail routes.
Air and sea
Kaspi is served by the Kaspi International Airport, which handled 12.4 million passengers in 2015, around 12% of all air traffic in Varkana. Located in the north of the commune, around 9 km from the historical center, the airport is a hub for SAK Varkana and other regional low-cost carriers.
Although Kaspi's crime rate dropped considerably since the start of the 21st century, it still has Varkana's worst violent crime rate with over 375 offences per 100,000 people in 2016.
- Tamaz Chiladze (1841–1917), second president of the Socialist Republic and communist revolutionary
- Dmitry Shostakhvari (1906-1975), composer and pianist
- Antoniu Rikovilo (born 1950), current SSD Chief
- Zurab Avalishvili (born 1951), first president of the Fourth Republic
- Ana Targamadze (born 1956), founder and leader of the Renewal Party
- Ekaterine Daraselia (born 1970), current Governor of the Bank of Varkana
- Davit Lamazi (born 1973), founder of shemova