Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is located on the banks of the Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within the Akmola Region, though administered separately from the region as a city with special status. The 2017 official estimate reported a population of 1,029,556 within the city limits, making it the second-largest city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty.
Astana became the capital city of Kazakhstan in 1997, and since then has developed economically into one of the most modernized cities in Central Asia, with futuristic-looking buildings designed by world famous architects.
Modern Astana is a planned city, like Brasília in Brazil, Canberra in Australia, and Washington, D.C. in the United States and other planned capitals. After Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan, the city cardinally changed its shape. The master plan of Astana was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. As the seat of the Government of Kazakhstan, Astana is the site of the Parliament House, the Supreme Court, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace and numerous government departments and agencies. It is home to many futuristic buildings, hotels and skyscrapers.