(AGI) – Astana, May 19 – Kazakhstan gives huge possibilities for design and architectural works by Italian companies. Carlo Castelli, renown Italian architect and master-planner and a director of Strategic Planning and Design at London-based design and architectural company AECOM, is in Astana to partecipate to annual Economic Forum. "The Kazakh President is pretty ambitious by defining the trajectory for Kazakhstan that includes geo-economical aspects and balancing" said in an interview to AGI. Castelli studied architecture in Genoa where he graduated with distinction in 1999. Through extensive experience on diverse urban contexts and complex buildings, he has acquired a great understanding of how the various urban systems and processes shape our environment.
- Is it your first trip to Kazakhstan? What are your expectations about the Astana Economic Forum?
Yes, it is my first time in Astana and I am really excited to be here. Kazakhstan has put a lot of efforts in the recent past in looking into future. It is really exciting to be here and to think about global challenges and to apply different backgrounds from around the world. This creates new energy and new ideas.
- Do you see any interesting opportunities for your company in Kazakhstan? What do you think about Kazakh-Italian cooperation in architecture?
Currently I work for AECOM which is a big company and the company is also doing work in Kazakhstan. We want to look for new encounters and new possibilities in the country and around the world. Possibilities are very high in Kazakhstan and the government’s program. The Kazakh President is pretty ambitious by defining the trajectory for Kazakhstan that includes geo-economical aspects and balancing.
- Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative provides various projects in Kazakhstan. Would you consider participating in it?
Yes, we would like to participate in the BRI projects in Kazakhstan. We conduct projects in infrastructure and its intersection with urban development in various countries. I am from Italy originally so we did a few exciting projects in Milano and particularly in cooperation with Italian national railway company. Piazza Gae Aulenti was designed by AECOM to help regenerate an area of Milan dislocated from the center by the railway (a disused land). This project is building on shared vision for the city. More than 2000 people attended the workshop.
- Do you have any specific ideas or projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia?
I think about integrated approach in architecture which I presented at the Astana Economic Forum. That is very fundamental approach. I am looking forward to contributing to such projects in Kazakhstan.
- What do you think about the investment climate in Kazakhstan? Is this country interesting for Italian or European investors?
There is a very open attitude and good organization skills in the country. Kazakhstan is working hard to present itself in the world. There is a good opportunity for foreign business to come and to invest in Kazakhstan. There are very strong ties and I think it would continue to grow.