In 2017, the capital of Kazakhstan will look like the set of an utopian sci-fi movie, which seems appropriate considering this is the place from where the Soviet Union conquered space. A titanic new capital will rise by the old city, powered by sun and wind. Move over Dubai. Your cliché New York-wannabe skyline is the past. This is the real future.
After several months of debate, officials in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana have chosen a final design for the massive site that will host the World EXPO 2017. The sprawling, wind- and sun-powered neighborhood was designed by Chicago architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the designers of Kingdom Tower—the forthcoming world's tallest building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
According to the chairman of the company that's heading up the EXPO 2017, Smith + Gill's design "will embody the five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution." If that phrase sounds familiar, that's because it's borrowed from Jeremy Rifkin, economist and author of the popular 2011 book The Third Industrial Revolution, which outlines a theory of a shared clean energy grid that will transform culture and production. The reference is intentional—Rifkin has become an important figure in planning the future of Astana, a massive new city on the steppe that was built with oil money after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc