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Some 800km east of Moscow is Kazan, Russia’s third-largest city, with an ambitious urban development plan designed to encourage investment growth particularly in high technology, medicine, education and tourism.
Set to be an international business hub, Kazan Smart City was conceived with the latest advances in urban planning and engineering. It was recently awarded the Russian 2013 FIABCI Prix d’Excellence for the Master Plan category and behind it are two Malaysian firms – AJM Planning & Urban Design Group Sdn Bhd (APUDG) and Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn Bhd.
Speaking to FocusM recently, Straits Consulting Engineers managing director Amin Ramli says: “As we developed that knowledge and experience in Malaysia ... we needed to expand our services beyond Malaysia, although the project posed a political risk.” Kazan Smart City was the company’s maiden international
project, with the engineering firm supporting the master planners in terms of the city’s advanced infrastructure.
Kazan Smart City, a 600ha development with a 20-year horizon, was initiated by the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA), a government agency of the Republic of Tatarstan. In its recent groundbreaking ceremony, the project received a certificate from the Russian Green Building Council confirming that the project uses the principles of “green” construction.
Tatarstan, of which Kazan is capital, is an oil-rich state; 60% of its population is Muslim. According to Amin, it is the most investment-friendly region in Russia due to the state’s proactive political leadership to attract investors from Dubai, Singapore, China, Indonesia and other countries.
By Kimmy Foo