Visioning is different from traditional masterplanning, which often leaps too quickly to a physical conclusion that is wrongly predetermined. Instead, visioning is the first, aspirational step in a process that will ultimately deliver a physical, spatial and social outcome - a new city that will begin, grow and continue to evolve for centuries to come.

The site

The territory of Kazakhstan has long been a crossroads of cultures, peoples and ideas. It is a bridging point between East and West. The existing city of Almaty lies on the historic Silk Route. It sits within a varied landscape of mountains, lowlands, foothills and steppe. It is part of the ancient Tengri culture.

Despite its rich history, Kazakhstan did not have a long tradition of large-scale urbanism. The lands that became Kazakhstan were traditionally nomadic. Settlements formed around the Silk Route, however these were relatively small trading cities. In the 21st Century Kazakhstan is a majority- urban country which is gradually reurbanising following a decline in the urban population during the 1990s.

The crux of the New City project is to capitalise on the development of a new international airport for Almaty. A new airport will be a huge intervention to the established dynamics of the Almaty City Region. The development of a new airport will happen irrespective of the New City . Therefore, the question for the New City project is what can be built in relation to this airport to capitalise on the development and how can this contribute to the long-term development of Kazakhstan and the Almaty city-region?

Steps :

1. Convene a group of international experts on urbanism and cities to discuss the feasibility, process and best practice for developing a new city near Almaty, Kazakhstan.

2. Present and reach a high-level vision for this new city, including its role in the international system of cities.

3. Highlight the conditions that should be in place for the success of this city over the coming decades.

4. Define what the attractions and attractiveness of this new city could be in an increasingly crowded international system of cities.

5. Discuss how a new city could be delivered.