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Asset ISSEKESHEV: Astana has moved into the third phase of growth

We have long wanted to do an interview with akim of Astana, and last weekend, after another detour of the city, he found time to answer our questions. And we have a lot of them. However, on Monday, when the number was made up, it became known about the appointment of Asset ISSEKESHEV as head of the presidential Administration. But we still decided to publish the interview, because it raises important questions for citizens.

In April this year, the President held a meeting on systemic issues of Astana development. A number of tasks were set. Citizens are interested how implementation of instructions of president goes?

- The capital is the pride of the country, the brainchild of our President, so the development of the city is always under the control of the top leadership of the Republic. In General, in Astana, as in any region, there are both strategic objectives and current problematic issues. After the President's instructions, we reviewed the key priorities, programmes and the city's governance structure.

- It is clear that it is too early to talk about the results of such a large-scale work, but it is possible to sum up the preliminary results of the socio-economic development of the city?

 - This year we maintain positive dynamics in the development of the basic sectors of the economy. In industry, growth is provided by 2.6% (381.4 billion tenge), including in the manufacturing industry by 3.3% (317 billion tenge).

By the end of the year, we plan to ensure growth by 11% due to an increase in production in engineering, metallurgy and beverage production. Attracted 580 billion tenge of investment, which is 5.9% more than last year. At the same time, the volume of foreign direct investment amounted to 158.4 billion tenge, which is almost three times growth compared to last year (eight months of 2017 — 51.7 billion tenge). It should be noted that this year, as in the previous two years, tax revenues in the capital will amount to one trillion tenge.

I would also like to note the great contribution of Astana to the national volume of construction works. At the end of seven months, according to statistics, 3 million 170 thousand square meters of housing of multi-storey residential buildings were commissioned in Kazakhstan. At the same time, 42% of the Republican volume was commissioned in Astana.

This is a huge work of our builders. In General, over the past three years (2016-2018) the total volume of housing will be 7 million square meters of housing, or about 100 thousand apartments. And this is the average size of the regional center! By the way, two new modern industrial house-building complexes with a production capacity of 320 thousand square meters of housing per year will be launched in Astana. Due to these technological facilities, the quality of housing construction will increase, the cost will decrease and the speed of construction will increase dramatically. The speed of individual houses will reach one floor per day. Given our harsh climate and short construction season, speed is one of the key factors in housing construction. Now apartment buildings will be raised in one season!

Astana a city of entrepreneurs.

- And how small and medium businesses are developing?

- Recently released the final statistics for 2017. The share of SMEs in the city's economy is 54.4%. An average of 1,400 new businesses open each month. And since the beginning of the year more than 12 thousand new jobs have been created in Astana. This is 16.5% more than last year. Of these, 10.9 thousand places-in the field of small and medium-sized businesses.

We already see significant changes in the structure of the capital's economy.

Such industries as tourism, manufacturing, ICT, transport, show significant growth, and the public administration sector is reducing its contribution to GRP. This once again proves that Astana has transformed from a city of civil servants into a city of entrepreneurs. Another fact: who do you think is the main investor of the city today? This is a small entrepreneur! About 70% of all investments in the city comes from small businesses, not even medium.

Becoming an exporter of services

- What do you mean by self-sufficiency of the capital?

- There is an economic term «traded sectors». That is, these are the sectors that provide large export revenues. For some regions, these are metals and oil. But what kind of export product may offer the metropolis? According to our calculations, the capital will have 1 million 700 thousand inhabitants by 2025. By this time, we must create 300 thousand jobs. The question is: where can we create these jobs? What is the constant flow of money should be? The domestic market is good. But for stability, a significant part of the city's economy must be export-oriented for the inflow of currency. Industry? We don't have enough resources — water, energy. In modern conditions of technology development, to employ such a number of people, it is necessary to build 3,000 plants and factories. Therefore, we took into account the existing economic models of Dubai, London, Singapore and Moscow. And we came to the conclusion that this is still a service sector. But services should be more focused on the external market. That is, there should be a large influx of currency that will provide employment for many people. In this regard, Astana is a very profitable economic project.

It is necessary to develop export-oriented services, to be a service city like Dubai, Singapore. About 15 million tourists come to these cities every year

 - But how to achieve this? What kind of tourism will be a priority for Astana?

 - We must become a regional hub in a number of areas.

First, Astana has the potential to develop business tourism as a Convention and exhibition center. All regional exhibitions can be held here. The infrastructure of the city, consisting of 130 locations, is ready to hold large-scale events at the highest level. For example, the past negotiations on the Syrian issue, Astana economic forum and the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017. Since the beginning of 2018, about 20 business events of various scale and complexity have been successfully held, such as the international women's forum Zhaina, the Cup of student entrepreneurship, startups and innovations Enactus Kazakhstan - 2018, the international arms exhibition Kadex-2018, the 25th world anniversary mining Congress, the forum of mayors of silk road countries.

Secondly, Astana should become a center of culture and sports. To major events contributed to a stable flow of tourists from Central Asia, CIS, Western China. The future belongs to e-sports-we need such platforms. There is a center for contemporary art. On the basis of «Barys-Arena» created a platform for cultural projects — various shows, performances of famous artists.

Third, it is a financial centre that we are developing.

Fourth, it is an air hub, that is, aviation logistics and transit tourists.

Fifth, the center for education and health. And, of course, the center of urban tourism. Now Astana is very much attractive from the point of view of tourism places and objects, museums, a Botanical garden, «Khan Shatyr», «Pyramid» etc. Yes, the creation of such objects is costly, but they pay off handsomely. All these measures will ensure the attendance of about three million tourists by 2025. And this is a serious foreign exchange earnings. It is not easy to implement this program in the current economic conditions. But we are sure that Astana will become a successful exporter not of oil and gas, but of demanded and modern services.

 - Of course, EXPO was the impetus for the development of the tourist cluster of the capital. Does this work continue?

 - The effect of the EXPO was a starting signal to global and systemic changes in the tourism sector of the country. Last year, 5 million 400 thousand people came to Astana, about two and a half million of them visited the international exhibition. As a result, the tourism sector of the capital showed rapid growth.

Therefore, we set ourselves the task in 2018 to achieve 95% of the 2017 figure. A strategy has been developed for this purpose. The key task is to hold at least 50 major international events every year. Much attention is paid to the comfortable stay of tourists in the city, in particular, the work of information kiosks and uninterrupted Internet in the places of arrival is provided, there are excursion buses, developed Hiking audio tours, an online assistant for planning Hiking tours, etc.

In general, at the initial stage, three priority directions for the development of tourism in Astana are identified: MICE (business tourism), medical and urban recreational tourism.

Become a global «smart city»

- What tasks do you consider especially important for the city and why?

- Currently, we have several tasks. First, strategic is the transformation of Astana into one of the key cities of the Eurasian space, into a global «smart city». And a lot of work is going on here.

But now the more important task, which is a priority, is to make Astana a safe and comfortable city for our residents. We have studied the best practices of the world's developed cities. For each of the 20 areas: social support, education, health, public transport, ecology, what concerns people, we have defined the goals of how to reach the level of developed cities in order to make it convenient for residents.

 We have developed special programs and specific projects. They are already being implemented, and there are results.

 Astana should be the engine of change, an example of the experience of transformation and adaptation to the current conditions: economic and social. For this purpose, a 5-year Comprehensive plan for the development of the city was developed.

Taking into account the five promising development zones, by 2023 it is planned to increase the length of roads by 121 km, to provide an increase in thermal power by 1038 Gcal and electric power by 120 MW, to reconstruct and build 231 km of water supply and sanitation networks. 25 kindergartens (for 6 thousand places), 37 schools and 10 extensions (for 63 thousand places), more than 10 health facilities will be built. In the next five years, it is planned to introduce about 9.5 million square meters of housing, as well as increase the load and length of engineering and transport infrastructure. It is estimated that the annual growth rate of passenger traffic will average 7%, cargo turnover – 5%.

As part of The President's instruction, we have optimized the boundaries of the development area from 25.7 thousand hectares to 15.4 thousand hectares and identified promising development zones.

- What is the zone?

 - There are five of them-the area of mynzhyldyk alley and the new railway station «Nurly Zhol», the area of mangilik El Avenue, the area West of Turan Avenue and South of Telman village. In addition, due to the demolition of the private sector, it is planned to renovate Asan Kaiga street, which will allow to build half a million square meters of housing.

- Akimat is optimistic about the housing market ...

 - the Figures are not taken from the ceiling, we have calculated the prospects. Now Astana as a modern developing metropolis is one of the most attractive cities for life and business in Kazakhstan, and throughout the Central Asian region. Therefore, due to the migration of the population and the growth of the birth rate, we expect an increase in the population by at least 50-100 thousand people annually. Therefore, the preparation of the city for their comfortable living is an important task.

 - With the growth of the population there are problems-with infrastructure, educational institutions, clinics. How are these issues to be addressed?

- I have already said that the urbanization process is going at an intensive pace. Imagine, in three years we have built 7 million square meters of housing. This is 100 thousand apartments. Even if we assume that each family has three people, and in fact usually more, it turns out 300 thousand people. That is, for three years we have built an average regional center. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure the safety and normal functioning of the entire urban infrastructure. Naturally, here the big load is felt by city services which work in the round-the-clock mode.

 That's why the plan of five-year development of Astana was adopted. This is done in order to plan more clearly. In developed countries, for example, in Singapore, a businessman when buying land knows exactly when his site will bring the entire infrastructure. In case of non-compliance with these obligations, he can sue the state. Thus, the five-year plan is necessary, including in order that people knew when in this or that area there will be an appropriate infrastructure – heat, light, water. We need to plan and prepare infrastructure ahead of the curve. In the next five years, about 5 trillion tenge of private investment will be invested in the development of the capital, the budget will receive 7 trillion tenge.

Thanks to the ideas and personal support of the Head of state, the image of Astana corresponds to the status of a modern developing metropolis.

 - Asset Orentaevich, what innovations are expected in the process of further development of Astana?

- First, polycentricity. The city should be polycentric, with developed urban solutions. This is the right approach in the capital's urban planning. That is not one center, but many self-sufficient centers. With all the necessary infrastructure. Now the person is important not only housing, but also the space around. We are talking about yards, parks, squares.

Second, the urban approach. That is, a modern person wants all vital social and cultural objects to be within walking distance from his place of residence. The idea is that in each building shall be provided pedestrian access to the 35 social benefits. This is not an easy task. But we have been working on this plan for the third year. In General, we believe that Astana has now moved into the third phase of growth.

- What do you mean, the third phase of growth? And what were the first two?

- The first phase is the transfer of the capital and the beginning of construction of the left Bank according to the master plan of the Japanese architect Kurokawa, approved by the Head of state. The second phase begins in 2011, when intensive construction began in preparation for the international exhibition EXPO-2017. At this time, the airport terminal, a new station, EXPO facilities were built. And finally, the third phase is the work aimed at Astana becoming a regional hub, one of the key centers of the Eurasian space. Like Dubai for the middle East and Singapore for Southeast Asia. Therefore, we are now developing a master plan together with English and canadian experts to properly build infrastructure, take into account modern trends in urbanism and comfortable environment. We take note of the issues of public transport, housing construction, schools, roads, health facilities, the development of trade places and markets, parks and squares. These measures in a complex will allow us to avoid those distortions in architecture which are characteristic for the fast-growing city.

 Questions on control

- Which of the city's problems do you consider the most difficult?

- In a large economy there are always a lot of problems. Preparation of schools, heating season, coal, markets, construction sites-the list is very long. Security issues, public transport, cleaning and improvement of urban areas, provision of electricity, stable functioning of hospitals and other facilities do not come off the agenda.

- One of the most painful issues for any metropolis is roads, their workload and quality. How will the transport infrastructure develop?

- Now two major road projects are being implemented. This is a large and small ring roads, which are designed to significantly unload the streets of the city. If we talk in detail about these projects, I will say that the South-Western section of the great ring road around Astana from Tlendiev Avenue to Kabanbai Batyr Avenue with a length of 34.4 km is being built at this time.it is Planned to complete it in 2020. It will provide transport links between the districts of the city in certain directions and areas of mainly freight traffic, access to external roads, as well as reducing the load on the transport system of the capital, reducing the number of transit vehicles as part of the transport flow of the city, improving the environmental situation, increasing the operational speed of vehicles, expanding transport links, the development of related road infrastructure

- What are the boundaries of the small ring road?

- It passes through the avenues Koshkarbayev, Uly Gave and Akzhol streets, beisekova street with a total length of 46 km. In the period from 2007 to 2017 built 22.8 km of roads, 9 interchanges, bridges and overpasses. Today secured the passage of the sarayshyk street from Turan Avenue and the streets to beisekova street. The construction of beisekova street from street street Sigana Avenue Uly Dala, Avenue Uly Gave from the streets to beisekova street of Turan Avenue and Avenue Uly Gave from street No. 39 (project name) to Kaldayakov street with two bridges across the river Ishim and the channel Nura-Ishim total length of 15.2 km. The completion date of these sections is scheduled for 2019.

 The construction of the beisekova street street from Tlendiyev Avenue to Akzhol street, Akzhol street from the streets to beisekova street Avenue, Bogenbai Batyr Avenue Uly Gave from Kaldayakov street till Abylai Khan Avenue, including four interchanges and one overpass with a total length of 8 km, the construction In General DSL will allow transit traffic to more than 90 thousand vehicles per day pass the administrative center of Astana, which will significantly reduce the traffic on the Avenue Turan, Kabanbay Batyr and mangilik YEL. At the same time, work is underway to reconstruct Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, with an increase in the roadway to six lanes. It is also planned to build a transport interchange at the intersection of Korgalzhyn highway and Kabanbay Batyr Avenue.

- And how is the road problem solved on the right Bank?

- In the old part of the city is also actively working on the development of road transport infrastructure. According to a Comprehensive plan for the city envisages the construction of such streets as Asan Kaigy from Prospekt Bogenbay Batyr street Tashenova, Kenesary from beisekova street to Valencia-Spain, Valencia-Spain from left to Bogenbai Batyr, Saryarka from Bogenbai Batyr to beisekova street, Seifullin from Valikhanov to Pushkin. These projects will increase the capacity of roads by 40%, increase the average speed of traffic flow and reduce the average waiting time by at least 20%. Well, another important project for the city — LRT. We plan to finish its construction by the end of next year. In General, such a new transport framework should be formed over the next two years.

 - Already which year of criticism is caused by the storm Sewerage. Recently, after the rain again flooded several sites.

- Work on the development of storm sewer networks will continue-there will be 12 treatment facilities, 23.5 km of collectors, 13 pumping stations. Yes, there are several places in the city where the floods. In these areas, water accumulates, flowing from the adjacent large streets. Therefore, complex technical solutions were needed, and we found them. The project started and will be completed next year.

City without suburbs

- How is the implementation of the program «Astana — a city without suburbs» and why in the area of Metropolitan periphery, there are still old and dilapidated apartment buildings, there are no kindergartens and hospitals?

- We pay special attention to the outskirts and their improvement. In the field of demolished dilapidated houses in the current year completed the construction of four squares and by the end of the year will be created five more. In the coming years, on the outskirts of the city it is planned to build 10 km of roads, schools for 600 places in Michurino residential area, 5 extensions to schools for approximately 2000 places, 3 kindergartens in residential areas Koktal, Kuygenzhar, Telman, 5 primary schools for 150 visits in residential areas Koktal-1 and Koktal-2, International, Ondiris and Industrial. The construction of the 3rd stage of engineering and communication infrastructure for individual housing to the East of the village of Ilyinka will be completed. In the villages of national importance, Koktal, Southeast and Agro completed the construction of 42 streets, 11 in work. - It should be noted that Astana is becoming a green city.

- It should be noted that Astana is becoming a green city. Even under the program of renovation instead of demolished dilapidated houses there are new squares. What green oases will still appear in the capital?

- Yes, a lot of attention is paid to the issues of gardening. We did not give the territories of the demolished dilapidated houses for commercial facilities, and at the request of residents we made squares and boulevards with children's and sports grounds here. This year on the right Bank there will be 13 squares, five more-next year. The construction of the Botanical garden and Linear Park is nearing completion. In total, 85 children's game attractions, 115 sports simulators, 18 football and basketball fields and tennis courts, 17 km of Bicycle paths, 30 fountain complexes, 12 km of treadmills, two skateboards will be installed at these 18 facilities. In the capital will be one of the biggest projects green Boulevard ring with Hiking and Biking trails with a length of 22.7 km. it will include a Botanical garden, Linear Park, Water-green Boulevard, Park along the street Ulytau, pedestrian area along the street of A. Mambetova, Arbat, located in the old center of the city.

 - Have a lot of issues of the inhabitants is the landscaping of the courtyards. What is the akimat doing in this direction?

— We believe that the yard in Astana should be a public space, convenient for citizens. We have undertaken this, in 2016-2017 we made 500, this year we made 300 and we should finish another 300 next year.

Quality of life-comfort and safety

- Quality of life in any city includes many indicators – material prosperity, developed infrastructure, safety. What is being done in this direction in Astana? What projects have already shown their success and could be spread in other cities of the country?

 - Our program focuses on safety and comfort. We have set the standards for the best cities in the world. What worries people? First of all, income and quality of life. Quality of life is ensured by such simple things as security, availability of schools, clinics, hospitals, public transport, food and so on. We are constantly working on each of the directions, so the situation in Astana is generally stable and good performance. As you know, currently akimat together with a private partner and law enforcement agencies of the city is working on the implementation of the PPP project of the city video surveillance system «Sergek». This is the first PPP agreement in the country in the field of security and information technology. As part of the «Safe city» project, 13 thousand cameras were installed in the capital. Of these, 4 thousand cameras in crowded places, 6 thousand on the roads, 3 thousand third-party cameras integrated into a single network. Facial recognition systems have also been installed at railway stations and airports. This project allowed to reduce crime in public places by 34%, road accidents by 20%, the death rate as a result of road accidents by 2 times. It should be noted that the implemented projects have already shown their economic effect.

For example, artificial intelligence technologies are used to recognize machine numbers. The system allows you to accumulate a huge amount of information (Big data).

In addition, with the help of the system «Sergek» you can find out exactly how many cars drive in the city (since the beginning of the project about 492 thousand. vehicles), which allows to analyze and provide recommendations for the improvement of traffic, installation of right exits, public transport bus Lane. I especially want to note the effect achieved in terms of security: 523 crimes were solved (murder – 3, robbery – 2, robbery – 29, theft – 236, theft – 19 and other crimes – 234). There has been a decrease in crimes committed in public places. The number of road accidents decreased by 21%, and the number of deaths on the roads of the city fell by half. We plan to introduce several more projects within the framework of digitalization of urban security, such as predictive crime Analytics and facial recognition

- Modern technologies help in the management of the city?

- Very. Here is just a small example: we managed to bring order to such a complex issue as the distribution of land under the program «1000 places – street trade». Now the auction will be held using blockchain technology-for the first time in the country. Now the system is being tested, and the first competition for the distribution of land under this system is planned for the near future. The implementation of «Smart Astana»is being successfully promoted. By education, the process of Queuing children in kindergartens was automated, a single cloud accounting was introduced and successfully tested in schools, which increased the quality and transparency of accounting in schools. On health care - all medical organizations introduced MIS. We also automated the service «appointment To the doctor». Of the digitization of housing implemented the project «e-KSK», which aims at the automation of the CSC services and improving their quality. Work is also underway on the PPP project «smart street lighting». The project involves the replacement of 45 thousand lamps using the technology of «Internet of things». For 2019, it is planned to implement EGIS (unified digital map of Astana), the introduction of BIM-modeling and «smart construction», the 2nd stage of the intelligent transport system. Thus, in 2019, the framework of the «smart city» in Astana will be formed. At the moment, together with the international business incubator Seedstars, work is underway to open An urban innovation platform that will unite the startup community of Astana and will develop innovative ideas for solving urban problems. The advantage of this platform is that it will be the first co-working center in the CIS, managed by Seedstars, the network of which includes more than 70 thousand startups, entrepreneurs and investors.

Clean air, clean water, clean soil

- All megacities face environmental problems. How relevant is this for our capital?

- Of course, Astana, like any other city, matters of environmental safety are important. We have a three-year comprehensive plan. It provides for systemic measures to protect and improve the ecology of the city, including through gasification, reducing emissions, combating unauthorized waste, in short, to ensure that the capital was clean air, water, soil. Gasification of the city. By the end of the year, we must transfer residential areas to gas — Koktal and the South-East. In the following years, the same work on gasification will be carried out in other parts of the city. Now the design and estimate documentation is developed, sources of financing are defined. By 2021, it is planned to transfer our thermal power plants to gas, as well as small private boiler houses and residential areas that give a large amount of smog. These measures will reduce emissions by 30%. In addition, by the end of 2019, we plan to carry out gasification of such an important industry as electricity and heat supply. We plan to transfer vehicles, primarily public transport, to gas-cylinder fuel. Astana was the first to move to separate collection and processing of garbage, we already process 15 percent of plastic. We are starting to build a plant using modern import technologies, from sorting to processing, and next year we will complete the construction. On the territory of the city are installed 6276 yellow containers to collect the «dry» fraction (plastic, paper, glass, metal). We expect that the separate collection of household waste will increase the depth of processing to 25-30%.

 - A lot is being done to make the urban environment comfortable for people with disabilities. And at the same time, many buildings, especially in the old part of the city, remain inaccessible to them. What will be done in this direction?

- This is important. I will not hide, there is still a lot of work to be done. Administration has monitored the condition of the ramps, which had revealed the problematic objects. 552 objects of state institutions, small and medium-sized businesses have become available for citizens with disabilities. Another 222 sites are under construction for unhindered access of people with limited mobility. But, we must admit, unfortunately, the work to ensure access to small and medium-sized businesses is not conducted at the proper level.

- But if we talk about the needs of people with increased needs, we are talking not only about the ramps, but also about the services required by our fellow citizens. Are there any changes for the better in this direction?

- If we talk about achievements, it is the creation of organizations in the capital to provide special social services in the conditions of round-the-clock and day stay. Today there are four centers of social services: «Sharapat», «Nurly Zhurek», «Kamkor» and the Center of social services. All of them are equipped in accordance with the requirements of modern medicine and provide social, medical, educational, cultural and legal services to those in need. For example, at the opening of the social service Center in 2016, 540 people received services here, today – 1138. The fact that 17 children diagnosed with cerebral palsy have taken the first steps in 1.5 years of the center's activity is particularly proud.

Astana at your service

 - Asset orentayevich, has the transformation of the akimat completed? Tell me what was done.

 - Our strategic goal is to make Astana a safe and comfortable city for residents and at the same time one of the key business, tourist and financial centers of the Eurasian space.

We understand that new challenges require a change in management style. Therefore, we have started the transformation of the city management system. The main principles are efficiency, fairness, transparency and customer focus.

 We have moved from a functional management style to a process style, dividing the processes into four levels of management: strategic planning, implementation level (or project management), operational management, control and Supervisory level.

For each level, we introduce elements of digitalization, which helps us to remain within the current state, increasing the competence of akimat employees and manage the city mobile and effectively. In strategic planning, we have integrated urban and budget planning processes. There are clear plans for the development of public transport and the construction of roads, the social sphere: education, health and social support. In strategic planning we use the technology of BIG DATA (big data) for a qualitative prediction of different scenarios of development of municipal economy, transport, etc. All areas of strategic planning have performance indicator

- KPIs. The city model of KPIs is also digitized and monitored by the Office of strategic and budget planning. Based on the results of strategic planning, we have formed a portfolio of projects for the development of the capital and transferred it to the project management or implementation level.

Control and Supervisory level is our internal quality audit. Combining all control functions in one Department allowed to reduce the blurring of responsibility, strengthen the team without increasing staff and build transparent control processes in the city.

- Is there an economic effect of such transformations?

- Certainly. We need to look for reserves within the akimat, we need to save. As a result, we have already saved 19 billion on direct purchases alone. Even the transition to outsourcing of transport services will allow us to save more than 1 billion in five years. This will give us the opportunity to direct money to social support – food in schools, support for veterans and much more. In total, we have already saved 35 billion tenge.

- It is only a question of economy?

- Not only. We have transformed the management system. In December 2016, we created a project office, trained more than 500 employees of the akimat in the basics of project management. Today we have more than 400 active projects in our portfolio. It should be noted that more than 200 have been completed since December 2016 and transferred to the archive.

Through project management, we have gathered the entire project database and monitor the plans and timelines, budget and KPIs achievement of each project. Our project office is digitized. All projects and budgets to them are conducted in a single project management system of all departments and districts of the akimat. On June 6, we published all infrastructure development projects online on the website of Astana akimat. Before the project approach, we were constantly faced with the failure of deadlines for construction, repair, even in the social sphere, we had budget transfers, lack of development. All because of the lack of proper planning and system control. Now the project office forms portfolios of projects on the basis of the strategic plan of development of the city and puts on control all projects of development of the city from construction of schools, kindergartens, roads, repair before introduction of new social and economic initiatives.

The project office signals that there are risks, problematic issues on the project and brings questions to the meetings of the akimat. We must admit that there are still reserves, there is something to work on, but now we see that delays in projects have decreased by 20%. With the help of the project approach, we prepared and held EXPO, completed projects for the city Day. We continue to work on the development of the city systematically.

- You said that as part of the transformation, the salary of civil servants has doubled. But the most painful question for them, probably, apartment. How can it be solved?

- We have developed a program to help create a corps of highly qualified specialists of city services (teachers, doctors, police, firefighters and others) in Astana. Task: at the expense of housing certificates in one million tenge to help people buy housing through Zhilstroysberbank, it allocates credit resources for 15 years at a small percentage, at the first stage we want to give 10 thousand apartments. With the prospect of growth to 20 thousand. But provided-5-7 years to work in urban structures. We have 9 thousand teachers, including 5 thousand without housing. We are building schools, and in the next five years we will need 5,000 qualified teachers. The same situation for the police, doctors. We have to strengthen city services with high-quality specialists. The comfort of the residents depends on it.

- How easy is it for citizens to «get through» to akimat?

- Very easy! At the end of last year, we created the city center for monitoring and rapid response iKomek by combining several subordinate structures. In business terminology, iKomek in the city is a front office. This tool is designed for the convenience of residents and allows citizens to interactively communicate with utilities and city offices. We called the project «iKomek – Astana at your service». The project is divided into four areas. The first direction is a Single contact center of the city akimat. We have combined all the call centers of public services, city offices under the short number 109. Thus, we solved the problem of «Public service, which is impossible to get through.» You can call 109 for free from landline and mobile phones 24/7. For maximum convenience, it is possible to send an appeal to social networks Facebook, Instagram, Telegram bot or through the website of Astana akimat. Conceptually, we took as a basis the experience of the cities of the USA and Canada, where there is a dial-up number 311 for all urban issues.

During the eight months of work, the unified contact center of gorakimat received more than 500 thousand applications and 77% of them were resolved «from the first call». Professional operators iKomek versatile on all issues of life support of the city and work with all utilities to provide answers without switching.

The second direction is the city center of iKomek services. An important priority in the provision of service for citizens is its availability. Today, the city has 17 departments, more than 10 consumer service centers of different utilities, which are located in different parts of the city. This creates a lot of inconvenience in obtaining services. Therefore, we intend to create.

City service center — a platform on which representatives of public services, state – quasi-public organizations and development institutions will be located. For maximum accessibility to residents of such sites in Astana will be several.

 Here it will be possible to solve the issue of detailing utilities, issuance and exchange of transport cards, get services and advice on architecture, land relations, entrepreneurship and others.

The third direction-monitoring and control of each appeal. Our priority is a clear mechanism for resolving each issue and discipline of public services. We have developed a regulation for the management of life support services in the city and defined the requirements for the level of service or Service level Agreement (SLA). Now we have more than 1000 services for classification of all appeals. The team of City centre services iKomek keeps on monitoring all the incidents in the city until their complete elimination. For monitoring and control iKomek uses the city video surveillance system, GPS-tracking equipment involved in the maintenance of the city.

This disciplines the work of municipal services and administrations of the akimat. All municipal services of the city are on guard of interests of citizens and ensuring comfort and safety round the clock.

Digitized processes allow me, as akim, to control the situation in the city through the control panel of the city.

And the fourth direction is analysis and accounting of public opinion. Speaking about the new level of service for citizens, it is important to understand that we have not only created an opportunity to receive feedback from our citizens, but also are working on the analysis of the received proposals and appeals, using big data technology.

Sorting problematic issues by topic and area gives an accurate picture of the city, taking into account which we make changes to the planned activities. This allows us to flexibly approach the work of the akimat and, accordingly, plan the budget much more efficiently and correctly prioritize.

 We strive to be as open as possible and to hear what concerns the residents, what expectations our citizens have from the city leadership. For us, every appeal is an opportunity to hear firsthand about the problem and get an offer. This helps to jointly improve the quality of life in the capital.

- What do residents complain about most through the iKomek service?

 - Differently. Depends on season. But there are also issues that are relevant all year round. iKomek works with all city services, focusing on 28 areas of life. This-water, heat, electricity, landscaping, Elevator facilities, MSW, public transport

- You are an active user of social networks, you react to the problems that Astana residents raise in their posts. How do you feel about the habit of the capital's residents to «tag Issekeshev» for each, sometimes unimportant reason?

 - I realized the potential of social networks as the head of the Ministry for investment and development. After the appointment Of the President to the post of mayor of Astana, he urged his deputies, assistants and heads of state bodies to create accounts in popular messengers. It is the monitoring of social networks that allows in the shortest possible time without organizational and financial costs to learn public opinion on a variety of issues or conduct a kind of sociological survey. Therefore complaints of inhabitants do not tire me, on the contrary, they reveal to us the existing city problems. Give the chance to eliminate these or those mistakes and flaws in activity of municipal and other city services.

 Kaysar ZHUMABAYULI

 vechastana.kz

 

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