Platform for dialogue

Urban Forum Almaty is a series of annual conferences, including discussions, master classes, public lectures and public discussions on issues related to the construction of the city. Urban Forum Almaty has been held since 2015.

We believe that the development of the city is the joint work of citizens, authorities, business structures. Therefore, we see our mission in the organization and moderation of the dialogue of urban communities with each other – we create a single communication field for different groups that interact in the urban space.

We involve industry specialists: architects, urbanists and sociologists and organize studies of the urban environment. We invite experts with international experience and gather local audiences on one discussion platform.

We support small district and yard associations of citizens who make projects to improve the environment. We believe that such local initiatives can launch big changes.


What we are talking about when talking about the city

Resilience means “resistance to external influences.” We endorse this concept for discussion as the city’s ability to constructively develop without losing its identity.

The identity of the city is the identity of each of its residents. Architecture is an indicator of what is happening within society at an emotional, social, and professional level.

A successful and happy city gives an opportunity to live comfortably and work in the center, and in dormitory areas and in the suburbs.


Projects completed

First Urban Forum Almaty, theme: “Identity of Almaty city”.
The study of the identity of the residents called “Almaty is a city for people and people for the city”.
Contest for the implementation of socially significant projects aimed at the development of the city of Almaty.

Second Urban Forum Almaty, theme: Resilience.
The study of the identity of Tastak, Shanyrak and Orbita dormitory areas – an analysis of the problems and opportunities of non-central areas of the city.
Competition of social projects for the development of non-central districts of Almaty.

Plan for 2017
The main change is that instead of one big forum, we will hold four thematic conferences.
In 2017, we will launch the educational program “Cities and People” with the support of the US Consulate General. Twelve influential American experts in the field of urban studies will come to Kazakhstan to conduct lectures, master classes and seminars in Almaty, Astana, Shymkent and Semey.
At joint working sessions for different audiences: professionals, activists and officials, we will discuss the main questions: How to build a city for people? How to strategically design the urban space? How to manage its processes in the interests of the progress and well-being of its inhabitants? How to involve citizens in the transformation?



The organization of projects and activities of the Urban Forum Almaty is carried out by a permanent working group.

Assel Yeszhanova,
Head of Urban Forum Almaty
Creator and inspirer of Urban Forum Almaty, Assel Yeszhanova forms the strategy of the project, works with partners of the forum and city projects, attracts international experts.
Assel is an architect, head of the Almaty representation and partner of the Atomik Architecture Kazakh-British architectural studio. In the past, she worked for the Aedas Architects international company, designed facilities in the UK, Europe, Canada and the Middle East.

Adil Nurmakov,
Project consultant
Adil Nurmakov, candidate of political science, expert in political science and mass media, is engaged in strategy, planning and analysis of activities.
Adil worked in the research field – he studied civil society institutions, taught and was engaged in scientific activities. Adil calls himself an enthusiast of Almaty: he is the creator of the city website, co-author of the guidebook “Almaty Today”, which was published by the Vox Populi publishing house. Analytical and activist experience, according to Adil, allows him to see the overall picture and prioritize.

Indira Suleimenova,
Project coordinator
Indira Suleimenova solves all organizational issues related to working with suppliers, speakers, participants. It is in her power to make it so that the event went clearly on schedule, without a hitch and force majeure. Indira has the education of a journalist and extensive experience in administrative work in the implementation of independent initiatives. Indira is one of the authors of the educational project ABAI 45.