2030 Birth of a Metropolis - PhMuseum

2030 Birth of a Metropolis

Filippo Venturi

2018

On July 6th 2018 (Capital Day) Kazakhstan has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the capital city, Astana.

Almaty had enjoyed previously that role, but in 1997 President Nazarbayev decided to appoint a new capital city, set in a more central position far away from highly seismic zones and, most of all, designed to transform a small regional town (Akmola, renamed Astana in 1998) in one of the most modern metropolis in the world.

To reach its goal, Kazakhstan has exploited its massive reserves of natural sources (petrol on its own accounts for 20% of its GDP, 50% of financial income and 60% of export). The project shall be completed in 2030 and it implies that the capital will cover a total area of 710 km2.

Behind Astana’s dream there is Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has lead the country for 28 years and has been confirmed as President at the last election in 2015 with the 97, 75% of the votes.

In “The Dubai of the steppe” — as it is called — there is no more trace of the old Soviet atmospheres: Astana today represents a forward-looking city, a desire of future and prosperity, an utopia made of glass and reflections which shows off the entire country ambition to be internationally recognized as the political and strategic Eurasian centre, along the new Silk Road.

However, the explosive and artificial growth of architecture and cost of living in the city has not been accompanied by a similarly rapid increase in the population, which is today of 800.000 people: in the forecast it should have already reached one million in 2012.

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  • Model of the city of Astana inside the shed of Atameken Ethno-Memorial Complex, Astana.
    The project shall be completed in 2030 and it implies that the capital will cover a total area of 710 km2.

  • The entrance to the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Nursultan Nazarbayev), Astana.
    Behind Astana’s dream there is Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has lead the country for 28 years and has been confirmed as President at the last election in 2015 with the 97, 75% of the votes.

  • Construction workers at National Space Centre, Astana.
    The Bayqoñyr spaceport is set in Kazakhstan and plays an essential role in International Space Station routine operations.
    It has been rented to Russia until 2050.

  • Coat check girl in Astana Opera, Astana’s opera house opened in 2013.

  • Independence Square, Astana: one of the downtown locations where the 20th Capital Day celebrations will take place.

  • Workers take care of the flowers in the square in front of the presidential Palace Ak Orda,
    official residence and workplace of Kazakhstan President, in Astana.
    In the background, the Kazakhstan Ortalyk Koncert Zaly, the concert hall designed by the Italian architect Manfredo Nicoletti inaugurated in 2009.

  • A girl walking inside the Kazakh Pavilion at Expo 2017 devoted to “Future Energy”, in Astana.
    Today the building has been turned into a museum.

  • Workers at the National Space Centre, Astana.

  • Girls between the columns of Astana Opera, Astana.
    Married couples and wedding invitees come often to this place to be photographed.

  • Independence Square, Astana: one of the downtown locations where the 20th Capital Day celebrations will take place.

  • A pianist from the TV channel Qazaqstan. He is in charge of the background music for the TV program “Tan Sholpan” (“Bright Morning”, in English).

  • Astana Opera, Astana.
    Construction works began on 6 July 2010.
    The theatre was opened in 2013.

  • The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is the biggest Mosque in Central Asia.
    Construction works began in 2009 and involved up to 1500 workers.
    It was opened on the 6th of July, 2012.

  • Boys playing football in a courtyard in a working-class neighbourhood not far from the modern city centre, in Astana.

  • Two Russian girls from a marching band invited to perform during the celebrations for the 20th Capital Day, Astana.
    In Kazakhstan there are two main ethnic groups: the Kazakh (63%) and the Russian (24%).

  • Kazakh policemen in formation near to Atameken Museum, Astana.

  • Boys in the vicinity of lake Borovoe in Burabay district, Akmola Region.
    It is a visited location for Astana’s residents willing to get out of town.

  • People attending the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th Capital Day, Astana.

  • National Space Centre, Astana.


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