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City of Apple Trees: Future Almaty

This "Utopian Futures" Project speculates upon the future of 100 different cities across the globe. This week, we highlight the future of the Kazakhstan city of Almaty.

Almaty is situated in the far south of the country beside the northern-most mountain of the Tian Shan alps. The foothills nearby are held to be the geographical birthplace of the primordial apple and Almaty is labeled The City of Apples-- with historically famous urban stands of apple trees dotted around the city, as well as various sculptures honoring the Apple.

Alas, however, according to locals the numbers of these Apple tree stands have drastically dwindled to near-extinction over the last few decades. Indeed, Almaty is so heavily invested in the industry, it is listed as one of the top ten most polluted cities in the world (described by many as being a huge gas chamber because it occupies a valley between mountains that tends to trap-in noxious air). The combination of oil refineries, metals processing plants, industrial factories, and a growing fleet of cars (both old and new), produces an infamous smog almost every day.

However, as the citizens and government of Almaty work together to repopulate the city with stands of apple trees, by the early 22nd century, Almaty could be in the list of top ten cleanest cities of the world, and visitors from afar will come see the "City of Apple Trees".


Almaty in the Future


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