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Kazakhstan wants more large cities like Almaty and Astana

30 november 2013, 15:11
0
Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo © Marat Abilov
Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo © Marat Abilov
President Nazarbayev wants Kazakhstan to focus on development of its other larges cities - not just Astana and Almaty - and on making them more people-friendly, Tengrinews reports. He made this statement at the anniversary forum of the Bolashak International Scholarship late this week.

“I think we need large urban agglomerations. Almaty is about to reach (the population) of one and a half million and (the population of) Astana is nearing one million. We need more cities like this. This may be Shymkent, Aktobe, Karaganda or other cities. Cities where millions of people live become centers of culture and science. (...) These cities should be comfortable for living and full of opportunities, they should have modern utility systems and high culture,” the President added.

According to the President, Astana is an example of a “Smart City” comfortable for living. “Contemporary cities are focusing on providing more space for people to walk and use public transport, because it is an opportunity for people to communicate and feel less restrained. We want to create one of such cities of the future, a 'Smart City',” said Nazarbayev.

He believes that industrial and science-intensive agglomerations should be formed around large cities of Kazakhstan to make them regional hubs.

His idea is shared by Tleugazy Bespalinov, Deputy Director of the Regional Policies Department at the Ministry of Regional Development. His department made an analysis of Kazakhstan's largest cities to select the most promising of them. The analysis singled out Astana (center), Almaty (south) and Shymkent (south) as the cities with the highest development potential, and Aktobe (west) and Aktau (west) cities as those that at also hold a promise.

According to the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy website the main focus of this plan is to ensure expansion of Astana, Almaty, Aktobe, Aktau and Shymkent and make them economic growth hubs.

"The goal is to develop long-term growth zones integrated into the global and regional markets," Tleugazy Bespalinov said.

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