Study on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation of Nur-Sultan

Nur-Sultan, the rapidly-developing capital city of Kazakhstan formerly known as Astana, has relatively extreme continental climate conditions. It experiences extreme cold in winter and heat and droughts in summer. 

Local flooding occurs during extreme rainfall events and in the snowmelt season. Climate change is expected to increase exposure to heat, drought and extreme precipitation. This could be accelerated even further by the ongoing urbanisation and densification of the city. Adapting the city to the new conditions is required to cope with these challenges. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) assembled a team of international consultants to develop Ecosystem-Based Adaptation measures to mitigate climate risks in Nur Sultan.

Study and training course

In collaboration with Deltares, a Dutch institute for applied research in the field of water, Witteveen+Bos Caspian developed a pre-feasibility study on the implementation of Eco-Based Adaptation measures in a representative pilot area in Nur-Sultan. A three-day online training course was provided for local stakeholders, including government officials, which covered urban resilience and nature-based solutions, as well as how to plan for these. The course was supported by a web-based planning support toolbox, customised for the pilot area. The Ecosystem-Based Adaptation measures selected for the course were further developed at a technical level by Witteveen+Bos Caspian and integrated into the pilot area, taking local conditions and requirements into account. Examples of these measures include:

  • bioswales;
  • planting trees;
  • green roofs;
  • ponds;
  • water squares;
  • focusing on flood control;
  • limiting drought and heat stress;
  • temporarily storing snow.

Witteveen+Bos also prepared cost estimates and a stakeholder analysis, supporting the further implementation of this project.

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