Turkmenistan Unveils Arkadag – Its Futuristic New Smart City

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Turkmenistan has officially opened its new, futuristic “smart” city, named Arkadag, or ‘Protector’, a reference to its previous President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who developed the concept. The new city, designed for an initial 73,000 residents (about double that of Liechtenstein) cost US$3.3 billion to build. There are plans to spend as much again in the next few years and further expand the city and its population.

Gurbanguly’s son, now President Serdar Berdymukhamedov, 41, oversaw the opening ceremony attended by foreign officials. Some brought presents, such as an electric car from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Arkadag is the new regional capital for Turkmenistan’s southern Ahal Province, close to the border with Iran and 30km from the national capital, Ashgabat.

All the buildings in Arkadag are coloured white, with all apartment blocks seven storeys high, a lucky number in Turkmenistan. Only electric vehicles are allowed in the city, which also have complete 5G digital coverage.

The current celebrations are dedicated to the opening of the objects of the first stage of the city’s development. These are 336 state of the art buildings, including two multi-storey residential buildings, public, educational, medical, cultural, sports and other facilities. According to official reports, all these facilities are built from environmentally friendly materials and equipped with digital technologies.

Arkadag City Artistic Concept

As part of the second stage of urban development, which will take place for the coming three years and be completed in 2026, service and production facilities for the production of food, industrial, pharmaceutical and medical products will be built. Eventually, about 70,000 families will live in the city, for a total population of about 300,000 (about the size of Karlsruhe in Germany or Newark in the US).

Citizens will use environmentally friendly urban vehicles – electric buses and electric cars, as well as “smart” parking lots, solar panels, wind turbines and other environmental and digital benefits. An Arkadag TV channel, newspaper and a football club have already been created. It is expected to become a major Central Asia trade route with Iran as part of the INSTC’s eastern corridor.

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