Almaty is the largest metropolis, scientific and educational, cultural and historical, economic and financial, banking and industrial center of Kazakhstan. The city is also considered the economic center of the Central Asia region. Almaty is in the South-East of Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Northern Tien Shan Ridge – Zaili Alatau. The urban territory of Almaty covers more than 782 km2 with about 2 million registered population. Since October 2020, Almaty City Government has initiated a 5-year Smart City strategy in collaboration with Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems (IGLUS) action-research program. Almaty Smart City aims to create a technological architecture covering all the information systems and Information Technology (IT) infrastructure on the city level with the description of service, data and infrastructure layers. In this issue of IGLUS Quarterly, we will further investigate this technological architecture with the articles of the experts from Almaty City.

The issue starts with the article of Mr. Konirbayev and gives a deep discussion on the smart urban transportation infrastructure initiative of Almaty City as the city government has been developing a new complex urban transportation model by focusing on data integration and data collection system infrastructure aiming the cooperation of state bodies with private organizations and the scientific environment, in which new improved technological solutions will be iteratively developed on the basis of a list of current problems provided by the government representatives of Almaty.

The second article focuses on The Unified Communication Space (UCS) for the Smart City Concept of Almaty. Ms. Bakhytgul Zakirova’s article presents an overview on the newly created platform of Almaty City Government: UCS. The platform unites all educational institutions, technological parks, accelerators, incubators, and IT companies into one platform and provides direct access and direct communication for each participant.

The third article is from Kazakh British Technical University (KBTU). Kultyshev Evgeniy’s article briefly covers Urban Living Laboratory (ULL) evaluation framework designed for Almaty City. The article demonstrates the role of scoring system in better understanding the overall situation of smart city platform construction. His article also discusses the research activities aimed at creating a metric system for smart cities‘ productivity and stability monitoring and evaluation.

In the last article, Madi Saken explains the geo-analytical system of Almaty City for city activity analysis, based on telecom data. His article talks about the description of the system, its content and how city departments use analytics. He gives further discussion on its application for COVID pandemic with studies on finding correlations and building predictive models for morbidity rate. Furthermore, developmental plans and potential use cases are reviewed.

We sincerely hope that you can enjoy the articles on this special of IGLUS Quarterly for Almaty Smart City. We invite you to join the discussion at iglus.org. If you feel there are innovative practices underway in your city/region and you would like to contribute to an upcoming edition of IGLUS Quarterly, we encourage you to contact us at umut.tuncer@iglus.org. You may also contact the editors of this issue through numanyanar@hotmail.com and bkonirbay@gmail.com.

You may visit https://digital-almaty.kz/ for further information about Almaty Smart City.

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