Urbanization is a global trend that characterizes a new stage of global economic development.
The country's regional policy provides for such approaches as development of the "points of growth", taking into account the managed organization and ensuring the basic quality of life on the basis of a system of regional standards.
The quality of life is the most important, complex indicator that characterizes the level of urban development, and the need to improve the quality of life of urban residents increases as the level of urbanization increases.
In Kazakhstan, the level of urbanization tends to increase. Thus, the urban population from 2010 to 2020 increased from 8.8 million people to 11.1 million people as of December 1, 2020, and the level of urbanization was 59%.
By 2030, the urbanisation rate is expected to be 65%. In this regard, the issues of the development of cities, their infrastructure, comfort of living and related socio-economic problems are of particular relevance.
In order to facilitate further improvement of the quality of life in cities, the Center for Regional Studies of Economic Research Institute JSC in 2020 developed a periodic national rating of the quality of life in cities.
It is planned that this study will be conducted on an annual basis.
The rating will allow for the annual monitoring of the indicators included in it and a comparative analysis of the development of cities.
It is expected that the rating will be an important guide and empirical base for cities in assessing their strengths and weaknesses, as well as in determining and rethinking their development goals and strategies. Competition among cities increases the importance of factors and indicators that are analyzed in the rating.
Highly published ranking results can also be used as a core part of a city's marketing strategy: top rankings will help improve the city's international image.
Also, the rating of the quality of life in cities will draw public attention to the most important problems of regional science, stimulate a broad discussion of strategies for the development of cities, problems in cities, and increase the transparency of decisions
Thus, the study on the development of a periodic national rating of the quality of life in cities will allow us to respond to the needs of people, new challenges that face the development of cities, to make verified management decisions in various areas of urban development, based on a system of indicators..
In 2020, the rating covered 18 cities-centers of functional city districts – Aktau, Aktobe, Almaty, Atyrau, Karaganda, Kokshetau, Kostanay, Kyzylorda, Nur-Sultan, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Semey, Taldykorgan, Taraz, Turkestan, Uralsk, Ust - Kamenogorsk, and Shymkent.
Rating in numbers
The first place in the rating of the quality of life in cities (hereinafter – the rating) was taken by Nur-Sultan with a rating of 6.3 points.
The capital is in the leading position in three sub-factors at once:
"Economy" (6.3 points), "Business Environment" (8.3 points) and "Urban Infrastructure" (7.5 points). The city received the highest place in the "Social sphere" sub-factor (4th place, 6.6 points).
The lowest scores in the sub-factors "Quality of the urban environment" (16th place, 4.5 points) and" Social activity" (17th place, 4.9 points) "Economy" (6.3 points), "Business Environment" (8.3 points) and "Urban Infrastructure" (7.5 points). The city received the highest place in the "Social sphere" sub-factor (4th place, 6.6 points).
The lowest scores in the sub-factors "Quality of the urban environment" (16th place, 4.5 points) and" Social activity" (17th place, 4.9 points)
In the second place of the rating was Almaty with 6.2 points.
The leading positions of the city are taken by the sub-factors "Social sphere" (1st place, 7.2 points), "Business environment" (2nd place, 7.6 points) and "Economy" (2nd place, 6 points).
Low scores in the sub-factors "Urban infrastructure" (7th place, 5.7 points), "Quality of the urban environment" (12th place, 5.4 points) and "Social activity" (16th place,
The top three of the rating is closed by Aktau with 6.1 points.
The administrative center of Mangystau region demonstrated high indicators for the quality of urban infrastructure (2nd place, 7.0 points), the level of economic development (3rd place, 5.9 points) and the state of the business environment (3rd place, 7.2 points).
The final position was negatively affected by the low values of indicators for the sub-factors " Social sphere" (14th place, 5.6 points), "Social activity" (15th place, 5.7 points). The quality of the urban environment needs to be improved (11th place with 5.5 points).
On the 4th place of the rating is Atyrau.
The city has the best indicators in terms of social activity of residents (3rd place, 7.0 points) and the quality of urban infrastructure (3rd place, 6.7 points). The quality of the urban environment is highly appreciated– 5th place (6.2 points).
In terms of the development of the urban economy, the city took the 5th place with 5.7 points, and in terms of the development of the social sphere - 6.0 points, taking the 8th place among 18 cities in the country. The state of the business environment in the city is estimated at 4 points, the city is on the 7th place of the rating on this indicator.
Kyzylorda unexpectedly takes the 5th place in the rating with 5.7 points.
This position of the city is associated with a high social activity of the population (1st place, 7.3 points) and a developed social sphere (2nd place, 6.9 points). The quality of the urban environment in the city is highly appreciated (4th place, 6.4 points). The city managed to create a favorable business climate. The state of the business environment is estimated at 5.1 points (6th place). Low scores on the quality of urban infrastructure (15th place, 4.4 points).
The 6th place of the rating with 5.6 points is occupied by Kostanay.
The city showed the best results in terms of the development of the social sphere (3rd place, 6.8 points) and the urban economy (4th place, 5.8 points). For the rest of the sub-factors, it ranks from 8th to 11th.
On the 7th place of the rating is Petropavlovsk with 5.5 points.
High score in the sub-factor "Quality of the urban environment" (2nd place, 7.1 points) and "Social activity" (4th place, 6.7 points).
Pavlodar is on the 8th place of the rating.
Despite the high positions in the quality of the urban environment (3rd place, 6.8 points) and urban infrastructure (5th place, 6.2 points), the unfavorable situation has developed in terms of the business environment (14th place, 3 points) and the development of the urban economy (13th place, 4.6 points). It is necessary to take measures to develop the economy and create a favorable business climate.
Ust-Kamenogorsk is in the 9th place of the rating (5.3 points) with a sufficiently developed urban infrastructure (4th place, 6.4 points) and good rates of economic development (6th place, 5.6 points).
The social activity of the population is assessed as high (5th place, 6.7 points).
However, the low values of indicators for the development of the social sphere (13th place, 5.6 points) and the formation of a favorable business environment (15th place, 2.6 points) do not allow the city to occupy a higher position in the rating.
The top ten is rounded out by the third largest city in the country - Shymkent (5.2 points).
Such a low position is associated with the insufficient development of the urban infrastructure, the state of the local economy and the poor quality of the urban environment.
Kokshetau takes the 11th place in the rating with 5.1 points.
High score for the quality of the urban environment (6th place, 5.9 points). For the rest of the sub-factors, the places are from the 9th to the 14th.
On the 12th place of the rating is Turkestan (5.0 points).
This position is high for Turkestan, despite the fact that in two of the six sub-factors, the city is in the last 18th place, and in one sub-factor
- 17th place.
Then there are two cities with the same scores (4.9 points): Aktobe and Taldykorgan, the 13th and 14th places of the rating.
Here, the most interesting is the emergence of the center of Aktobe agglomeration at such a low position.
Despite having all the basic factors (resources, location along the international corridor, population, agglomeration potential, etc.), the city was not able to secure a high position in the rating of the quality of life.
From the 15th to the 17th places with approximately the same points (4.8 points) the cities of Karaganda, Uralsk and Semey.
Taraz is in the last position of the rating with 4.7 points.
For each city, a separate profile was prepared based on an expert survey and recommendations were developed for those areas where cities showed low positions.
In 2021, the study on the rating of the quality of life in cities will be continued.
The rating was calculated on the basis of 62 indicators, of which 43 – statistical, 18 - survey and 1 – rating ("Rating of regions and cities for ease of doing business").
All indicators are grouped by 6 sub-factors – "Economy", "Business environment", "Social sphere", "Social activity", "Urban infrastructure", "Quality of the urban environment" , and by 15 groups:
4.Business environment assessment;
5.Business climate assessment;
7.Future workforce / Education;
9.Culture, sports and leisure
10.Willingness of the population to take an active part in improving the quality of life in the city;
13.Comfort of the urban environment;
15.The state of the environment.
The expert survey involved 915 experts from various spheres of life (active residents, entrepreneurs, employees of government, agencies, NGOs, etc) in 18 cities.
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