World famous Dutch achitect Jan Gehl to improve Almaty11 march 2015, 12:19
Famous Dutch architect and urban design consultant Jan Gehl will work to improve Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty, Tengrinews reports citing Megapolis.
Jan Gehl is a famous architect, whose career is focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city designs towards pedestrians and cyclists. After graduating from the School of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1960, he met his future wife who was a psychologist, and since then the way he viewed city design changed. He began focising on making cities more livable, creating an environment that people would find comfortable for living and would be happy to use.
Throughout his career, Jan Gehl worked as an urban design consultant all around the world including his hometown Copenhagen, New York, Moscow and London.
For example, he once pointed out that there were a lot of elderly people and small children in the streets of Copenhagen, which meant that the city was people-friendly. If you see children walking the streets, going to school and riding bicycles, this means that the city has all conditions to make people feel safe there, he said.
In addition, today more and more cities are becoming overwhelmed with cars, the climate is changing, people move less and spend a lot of money on healthcare.
This is why Jan Gehl tries to take all these factors into consideration and make cities a better place for living.
Jan Gehl first arrived in Almaty back in 2013. "Your city has a huge potential. It is good that it has wide streets; it means they can be divided into a pedestrian alley, cycling track and traffic road. I would like to point out that Almaty is a green city. Having a lot of trees is a huge advantage. But when I arrived there was a lot of snow and didn't see anything green, however it is still beautiful. Talking with Almaty's Mayor I understood that cycling is being promoted in the city," Gehl said then.
“Jan Gehl walked along and across the center of Almaty, studied the most distinctive streets, squares and parks, and then developed key recommendations on how to make our city comfortable for all Almaty residents and tourists,” Megapolis writes.
According to the assistant of the architect Riccardo Marini, Almaty has a number of features that should be brought to the fore. Almaty's wide streets provide excellent opportunities for improvement of the city.
The Mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yessimov supported Jan Gehl’s ideas, many of which will be implemented soon.
The Mayor instructed heads of relevant services and agencies to submit action plans of the preparations. "Every meter of urban space must be used as efficiently as possible," Yessimov said.
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina