We are happy to present the 2016 Soros Foundation – Kyrgyzstan Calendar featuring a number of Bishkek public spaces.
The city in the context of public spaces is a complex, multi-layered object, with a large number of focuses. It is a conglomerate of versatile and different-scale sites – from the giant Ala-Too Square that can accommodate thousands of people to tiny patches in some newly built residential areas, which are known for lively discussion of the most recent news. Bishkek is not only about streets, parks and buildings, it’s rather a network of special urban forms of human interaction.
For the last two years, SFK has actively supported projects targeting the development of various public spaces, such as parks, libraries, playgrounds – all sites that increase our social capital. We understand social capital as links and interactions between people and communities.
Social capital is measured not so much by the number of useful links, but by their quality – social capital is greater in those groups where people trust each other. To support the culture of cooperation and mutual trust in urban communities, it is important to create and maintain different forms and types of public spaces, as platforms for social interaction.
This calendar is a conscious attempt to show the variety and diversity of the many kinds of Bishkek public spaces, to tell you about their today and, most importantly, their potential for the future. We hope that the calendar will once again highlight the great importance and value of public spaces for the city and its residents.
Shamil Ibragimov Executive Director,