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05/01/2014 07:00 | By Mark Hattersley, contributor, MSN Innovation
Is this the world's unlikeliest city of the future?

City of the future: Kazakhstan



City of the future: Kazakhstan (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
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  • City of the future: Kazakhstan (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • The Astana Expo 2017 (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • Designing new types of building (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • Hosting the Expo 2017 (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • Designing a covered city (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • The Third Industrial Revolution (© Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • The pavillion centre (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
  • Third Industrial Revolution town planning (© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
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You know: maybe Sacha Baron Cohen really did strike a nerve with Borat? Whatever the reason, Kazakhstan looks set to strike back: it’s all fired up and busy building the most modern city on Earth.

Astana is being billed as the 'City of the Future' and is what is also becoming known as a 'Third Industrial Revolution city'. Almost everything about this metropolis is different to what we’re used to: Kazakhstan's plans are astonishing.

And Astana is not just going simply to be built and ignored. Kazakhstan has been selected to host the Expo 2017, the modern equivalent of international exhibitions such as the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and the Chicago World’s Fair, held in 1893. Both of these introduced new eras to the world: Victorian England and modern-day America. So there are high hopes that Astana will mark the ascendence of a modern Russian continent.

At the heart of it is a huge exhibition centre designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG). This centre will be transformed into the heart of a new type of city after the show. AS+GG’s plans show an astonishing level of independent thinking for what a city can be.

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