We always keep the best for the guests - akim of Astana to the American Forbes magazine on EXPO

15 June

"How to build a new smart city and put it on a global map" - with this headline was released an interview of the American Forbes magazine with akim of Astana, Asset Issekeshev. The author of the material, Stephan Rabimov, notes that despite the development of civilization, the functions of mayors throughout the world have remained at the medieval level.

"The modern mayor needs to solve traffic congestion problems, affordable housing, security and sanitation, as was the case in Europe of the 12th century, where the position of mayor was first introduced and created," the material says.

As reference mayors - role models, the author currently cites the former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and the acting mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

"How to take the city, which for almost two decades has experienced an unprecedented surge of growth since its inception as the capital of a new independent nation? Ask akim of Astana from Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev," the edition writes.

The article notes that Astana is one of the few cities in the world that have been deliberately established as capitals of states. The example is the capital of the USA Washington, Brasilia in Brazil and Australian Canberra.

"The city, founded in 1830 as a settlement of Siberian Cossacks, became the centre of an ambitious Soviet agrarian campaign in the late 1960s, before becoming the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997. Since then, its population has increased almost fourfold and has exceeded one million inhabitants. It is estimated that the steppe oasis attracted almost 40 billion dollars of private and public investment. EXPO 2017 is now being held in Astana - an unrivalled global platform for demonstrating the city, the people, the individuals living there. In addition, it can identify cracks and flaws in the system. I have decided to discuss all this with Asset Issekeshev,” the author writes.

The journalist asked the akim about the main issue for Astana, and Issekeshev replied that in the first place the capital can be characterized by three words - a global smart city. He noted that Astana had been oriented on the experience of Dubai and Singapore, and today it is the new main base of Eurasia.

"We are undoubtedly the fastest growing city in Central Asia with an average annual growth rate of 10%. For comparison, many Chinese cities that are leading the respective ratings grow at a level of 5-6% per year. Investors and tourists need anchor facilities with a good tourist infrastructure, favourable legal climate and stable security.This is more than good shopping and entertainment,” Issekeshev said.

In practice, according to akim of Astana, the concept of a smart city implies convenience for all people, without exception, from all over the world. Issekeshev told about the new airport connecting the capital of Kazakhstan with the most important world markets, about availability in Astana of all leading hotel brands. City authorities ordered 700 buses to completely change the city traffic, and shared plans to launch light rail transport with 18 stations. In addition, the akim noted that a special economic zone operates in the capital of Kazakhstan. Issekeshev also spoke about the development of green technologies in the city.

Akim also told about the future prospects for the development of the capital of Kazakhstan.

"Astana is a platform, a launch pad for future technologies, especially in the energy field," Issekeshev said.

Great emphasis is being placed in the capital of Kazakhstan on the development of education.

In general, in global terms, Astana is both a partner and competitor to the world’s leading cities, the akim is confident.

Separately, Issekeshev talked about how the city was influenced by the holding of exhibition EXPO.

“This is a big and serious challenge. We are trying to actively solve all the problems and seek opportunities to see this infrastructure in the future," the akim of Astana admitted, describing the events planned for the exhibition. - We want everyone who comes to Astana to share their experiences and return with others. I'm not worried about hospitality. The hospitality is in our genes. I remember when I was little, my mother always had sweets for me and my friends in case they come to visit. We always keep the best for the guests.”

Forbes summarizes that the stakes for Astana and its akim are high, and notes that the capital of Kazakhstan has entered the top smart cities in the world, occupying 21st place.

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