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On July 7, the Mayor’s Office of Astana held the first urban forum of “The DNA of the City: Communities. Business. Power”.


The forum was held within the framework of the instructions of the Head of State to improve the quality of life of the capital’s residents: improving the public transport system, developing public spaces and other fields of the city life, while preserving the unique architectural Eurasian style of the city.

The forum involved participation of foreign urban architects such as Ricardo Marini (representative of Jan Gale), Philipp Meiser (representative of the German school), Szczesny (Polish school) and other local and foreign urban experts.

At the opening of the forum, the Mayor of Astana Asset Issekeshev reported on the city development program until 2020 adjusted in accordance with the instructions of the Head of State. The program has two key priorities aimed at the social well-being of residents: improving the quality of the urban environment and increasing the incomes of the population.

– In the first direction, the priority of the Mayor’s Office is the improvement of the public transport system, providing step-by-step access to 34 social benefits: these are sports grounds, kindergartens, schools, security, environment and development of cycling, pedestrian areas, parks, public gardens and public spaces, – informed Asset Issekeshev.

In addition, the mayor told about the transformation of city offices and services, as well as “Astana Genplan” institution in accordance with the new tasks and principles of urban development and sustainable development of the city.

The Urban Studies Center has already started operating, and the Center for Urban Technologies is being established jointly with the largest transnational corporations for the introduction of modern technologies in the field of construction of buildings, roads and infrastructure facilities of the Kazakhstani capital.

The Mayor informed about the changes in the planning system in accordance with world standards: these are a master plan for the development of the city and changes in the regulatory framework for planning and designing of urban areas, streets and public spaces.

– One of the main tasks of the Mayor’s Office, along with the development of a master plan and new normative documents, is the practical implementation of new initiatives to create amenities for residents of the city. As an example, the development of public spaces for the creation of comfortable conditions in yards, intra-territories and urban areas can be cited. This is the creation of integrated sports grounds, children’s playgrounds, walking areas, “Arbat” project, creation of pedestrian and cycling areas along Kabanbai Batyr Street and the Botanical Garden under construction, which will also have sports and play grounds, – Asset Issekeshev said.

At the forum, well-known urban architects noted the unique architectural Eurasian style of the city and provided a number of interesting recommendations. Philipp Meiser proposed the development of a prototype of the Eurasian city on the basis of Astana, combining the styles of Europe, Asia and modern urban methods. He noted that Astana style can serve as a model for other cities in Eurasia.

The forum consists of five sessions. During the discussions, the participants have reviewed the issues of what makes up a good urban environment, how a dialogue is built between the authorities and residents, the urban economy and much more. It is planned that such kind of dialogue platforms between experts in the field of urban studies will become an annual tradition.

It should be recalled that the organizers of the forum are the Urban Studies Center of Astana and Astana Art Fest-2017.

Source: Akimat of Astana