By Julie Shapiro
Updated: June 30, 2016 10:42 AM ET | Originally published: June 23, 2016

Want to glimpse a city of the future? Look no farther than Astana, in oil-rich Kazakhstan, where a new development is rising to host Expo 2017, a global conference on clean energy. Using solar panels and wind turbines, the 430-acre (174 hectare) campus will produce a quarter of its own electricity, eventually cutting its CO2 emissions by more than 6,000 tons per year. Its buildings are also designed to be über-sustainable, featuring roofs angled for maximum sun exposure and curved facades that repel snow. “It’s not an experiment,” says architect Gordon Gill, who along with Adrian Smith is the design architect and master planner of the project. “It’s real.”

–Julie Shapiro

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This appears in the July 04, 2016 issue of TIME.

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