Astana Master Plan
The Master Plan is of great significance for any city. It is come kind of its passport – a fundamental document of the detailed schedule of architectural blocks, arrangement of architectural complexes, transport junctions and arterial roads’ schemes. When they are rationally projected it becomes very comfortable to live in a metropolis.
After the idea about a new capital was announced by the Head of the State in 1994 within the walls of the Parliament of the RK, the designing of its Master Plan gained specific meaning. Indeed, the main town-planning document determines qualitative level and perspectives of stable development of the country’s major city. Due to this, the President charged the Union of architects of the RK and Ministry of Construction of the RK to announce open republican competition for the preparation of this Master Plan. 17 creative teams from different parts of the country acceded to this request. The jury prefered conceptions of architects performing under the slogan “Aqmola-Almaty”. Their colleagues from Karaganda were on the second place.
Following the results of competitive selection, an architects’ team was appointed by an executive order, which began the Master Plan specification. It consisted of Sarsen Zhunusov, Serik Rustambekov, Tokhtar Eraliev, Kaldybai Montakhaev and Sultan Baimagambetov, chaired by Kazakhstani honored architect Bair Dosmagambetov. In his turn Akim of Aqmola city disposed to prepare town-planning documents in short order and in tabloid form on the base of the competitive project in order to solve top-priority goals before 2005, because plans for infrastructure and town development are based on the expected population. By this term, according to calculations presented at that point in time, the quantity of citizens was to reach 350 thousand of people.
So, during 2 years the following parts were schemed: the central part of the capital, “Shalkar” residential area (former Shouth-Eastern), industrial area; the design was prepared regarding development of railway transport, heat supply system, electricity, gas and water supply systems, telecommunication and drainage of the city territories.
One year after the transition of the capital at the suggestion of the President of the RK, an international competition was organized. This time it was regarding conceptual design of the Master Plan of the new Astana center’s development, meeting the latest achievements of modern architectural ideas. This competition cought serious interest of the leading regional and world architectural centers. Architects from Europe, Asia, America and Australia, creative teams from CIS countires and Kazakhstan took part in this competition.
Under the competition terms, in order to perform technical examination of all received projects, government commitee formed Decision Board consisting of 11 most reputable architects from Kazakhstan and countries of the near and far abroad. Niels Hall (USA), Eugene Rozanov (Russia), Behrouz Chinidzhi (Turkey) and other well-known architects were invited to work there; the jury was headed by honored architect of Russia, member of the International Academy of Architecture, Anatoly Vinogradov. Of fifty presented projects, 27 most interesting works were chosen for further consideration. As a result, the concept of Japanese Kisho Kurokawa, who is one of the most famous architects in the world, was admitted as the best one. The second place was taken by Kazakhstani architects, Russian architects took the third.
Dr. Kurokawa, who is not alive now, was asked to develop the Master Plan of Astana development to 2030 on the base of his presented town-planning concept. This order was carried out under an agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Corporation of the development of Kazakhstan capital, Astana city, for the fellowships of the Japanese government. Sketch-idea presented by the project team, led by Kisho Kurokawa, was approved by the Government on August 15, 2001. Master launched a new philosophy of Urban Development, and called it "symbiotic architecture." His development project of Astana was different, because he considered urbanized city structure as a living organism in harmony with the natural system that corresponds with the trends of the XXI century.
However, despite all creativity and innovative approach, as it turned out, the architect did not take into consideration the rapid development of Astana. In a short time his Master Plan needed to be adjusted. The reason was a major difference of research group’s forecasts with the real exigencies of the city. In particular, with the pace of economic development of Kazakhstan and the dynamics of population growth in the capital. Thus, according to the experts of JICA, by 2010 about 490 thousand people were to live there, and in 2030 - 800 thousand. While in 2003 the number of citizens exceeded the number of 500 thousand. Considering that the necessity for Master Plan specification was driven by the mistakes of prediction calculations, domestic specialized organizations were assigned to conduct the necessary demographic studies and make scientifically-based long-term forecast.
In October 2005, there was a competition held among the architects of Kazakhstan in order to design the concept of further planning structure development and building of Astana, this time on the assumption of KIMEP research group’s calculations. According to its forecasts, by 2030 the number of people in the capital is to reach 1 million 200 thousand people. In its turn, the jury chose the concept with a radically new idea, based on the establishment of powerful transport and communication flyover bridge (ring) across the city. But, considering the lack of consensus among local architects, the President gave the order to send the Master Plan adjustment for the examination to the most authoritative architecture masters of the world. International experts from France, Italy, Malaysia and Russia gave a negative conclusion to this proposal, finding it detached from reality. Competitive battles of the architects, who didn’t fully know the situation and the specific problems of Astana development, turned out to be inefficient. It was therefore decided to establish a specialized research institute, which, on the base of the best international practices, would develop documents governing the construction of the capital and prepare project regulatory framework, that would meet the standards of the new era. That October, opened in 2007 Research Design Institute (RDI) of Master Plan of Astana submitted their project to the Government of Kazakhstan for review and approval; their project was regarding the first phase of the Master Plan updating. It is intended to develop the city as an administrative, commercial, scientific, educational, cultural, sports, industrial-innovative Central Asian Regional Center. For this purpose it is necessary to develop modern infrastructure, which is a priority task. Among the key principles of the document there are polycentricity, complexity and compact construction, allowing to create safe and comfortable living environment for citizens and guests of the capital.
Astana is conceived as a city where nature and buildings, people and vehicles, old and new, tradition and innovation coexist in harmony. Broad band of parkland along the banks of Ishim River, separating the capital from East to West, will embreathe freshness and coolness of the river to an urban environment, enriching its beauty and charm of the pretty flowers, trees and shrubs. The core of an urban framework formed by highways, main streets and sidewalks, is presented by multiple squares and urban sites. The main structural accent is the new administrative center located on the left bank, sprawling between Syganak and Sarayshyk avenues.
Apartment complexes soar on the two banks of Esil according to the scheme of linear zoning, which opens the door for untrammelled territorial growth of the metropolis in the future. The Master Plan provides for the development of five planning areas at major transport junctions. Much attention is also given to the development of engineering and transport networks. Only from 2009 to 2011, it is planned to build 23 road interchanges, two overpasses, four road bridges, 25 pedestrian crossings. It is also scheduled to put light rail tram route with a total length of 26.7 km.
For a reliable and regular water, heat and electricity supply of the citizens, plans call for reconstruction and expansion of the CHP-2 and construction of the CHP-3. It is also planned to
build new, and upgrade existing magistral and block heat-supply networks with a total length of 98 km. In addition, it is designed to build 3 master substations 220/110/10 kV in the western, southern and eastern parts of the city. It is planned to construct pumping filtration plant #3 with a productivity of 120 thousand cubic meters a day, the first stage conduit with diameter of 1200 mm and length of 90.7 km (total 164.3 km) from the existing channel named after Satpayev; construction and reconstruction of main water supply with a total length of 168 km.
At the first phase of the Master Plan, which is to take three years, it is planned to build 30 schools, 60 kindergartens and 32 health facilities, equipped with the most progressive medical equipment. The city will have a unique architectural buildings designed by outstanding masters of architecture. Thus, according to the projects designed by one of the leaders of high-tech style, the legendary British architect Norman Foster, the floors of shopping and entertainment complex - a skycraper “Khan Shatyr” are to rise at 382 meters above the ground; there are no analogues of this project in the world.