Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is one of the fastest growing cities in Central Asia in terms of population and economy. To continuously improve the well-being of its population and, furthermore, attract future investors and tourists, the city government is aware that the usual policies are not enough.
The government has set certain priorities in order to become a smart city such as safety, comfort, efficiency and environmental sustainability. To integrate them into practice, the local government is working on increasing the share of e-government services, enforcing paperless interactions within businesses and public institutions, facilitating the use of public transport and ensuring its safety. The ambitions do not stop there; the city government aims to make Astana as one of top 50 smart cities worldwide.
Already now, the former host of EXPO 2017 is on its way to set an example for other smart cities. The local government has launched the Smart Astana app, which offers to make doctor’s appointments on basis of the individual case and the level of urgency. It also provides such opportunities as ordering a taxi, receiving the notifications from the school system, and writing recommendations or complains on the public services. In total, 109 services are provided through a single app.
The current priorities and initiatives in transforming Astana into a smart city have been based on international practices from such cities as Barcelona, Moscow and Dubai. Since Astana Smart City project is still ongoing and evolving, the local government would appreciate to continue to learn the best practices from other cities and adopt the most efficient technologies. Furthermore, all smart city projects in Astana are implemented with the help of investors, not public funds, thus, the further investments and engagement of the private sector is highly welcomed.
The local government has introduced the smart street lighting project that aims to reduce the expenses for electricity in the city by nearly 60%. The plan is to set up around 25 000 lamps.
To facilitate the movement of the rising population and overloaded car streets, the city has invested in the development of transport infrastructure. Alongside the new additions and safer public transportation, the intelligent traffic lights have been set up. By now, 55 of them have been introduced in Astana. Furthermore, the city invests in the visualization systems of the processes to inform driver, automated light control and video surveillance. Meanwhile, the traffic control center monitors the traffic flows and lights to improve the transport policies and infrastructure in the future.