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Strelka KB to revamp public spaces in Uzbek capital

, Cities
Author Lynsey Free

Russia's leading urban consulting firm heads east in its first international project.

Public spaces in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent are set for a facelift this year. A project titled ‘Tashkent Loves You,’ coordinated by Strelka KB and the city’s government, will see public areas revitalized, providing a breath of fresh air for residents and increasing tourism to the region.

The project, a crowdsourcing ideas platform, will be the first of five pilot projects launched from June until the end of August. Local residents are encouraged to have a say by sharing their ideas on how they think Tashkent’s public areas should be developed, and vote for the best ideas. They are also invited to speak their minds on what they view as problem areas within the city, in an effort to help combat those issues and make Tashkent a better place to live and visit.

“The main idea is to make a project that will show how completely different the city’s attitude can be towards people. That is why it is called ‘Tashkent loves you’ and not ‘I love Tashkent,’” said project director Daria Paramonova of Strelka KB.

Once residents have shared their ideas and opinions for their city, experts at Strelka KB will analyze, test, and execute pilot projects which will focus on improving physical features within the Uzbek capital’s urban environment. Those features include elements such as street lighting, transport stops, street furniture, pedestrian zones, and the reinstatement of historical fountains.

Strelka KB’s role in improving Tashkent’s urban environment also expands further. It will be working with city officials to develop regulations on the positioning and characteristics of advertisements in the city. It will also help provide guidelines for city event infrastructure, making sure that any future events are carried out to a high standard.

‘Tashkent Loves You’ is a particularly exciting project for Strelka KB, as it represents the first time it has ventured outside Russia’s borders.

“Strelka KB has entered the international consulting field and is beginning to work with cities in former Soviet countries. Tashkent is the first to become our partner in an extensive cooperation program,” said Denis Leontiev, CEO of Strelka KB.

The project aims to improve the quality of life for Tashkent’s residents, as well as increase tourism to a city which has always been vital for trade and transportation. Despite Tashkent’s long history of regional importance, its rapid growth in the early 1900s meant that little consideration was given to the quality of its urban environment. ‘Tashkent Loves You’ aims to improve that environment in the here and now, by taking note of the opinions and concerns expressed by those who know the city best – the 2.3 million locals who live and work there.

Although the project will be the first time that Strelka KB has worked abroad, it is well prepared for what lies ahead, largely due to its successful completion of the ‘My Street’ program – the biggest renovation project in Moscow’s modern history.

“We have been working in Russia over the past five years across 365 cities nationwide, and this is why our expertise is high in demand today. Our approaches are competitive and appealing on the global market, shifting foreign perception of Russian consulting,” Leontiev said.

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