In 1999, Astana by UNESCO resolution was awarded the title of the "City of the World". Since early 2000’s accelerated construction of administrative and business center of Kazakhstan's capital on the left bank of the Ishim River had begun. To achieve these goals, from January 1, 2002, a special economic zone called "Astana – the New City" was launched.
Active development of Astana’s left bank area became a symbol of the transformation of Kazakhstan. Over the last years, a lot of unique facilities were constructed, including residence of the President of Kazakhstan called "Akorda", 105m high "Baiterek" monument (author - A. Rustembekov), the Palace of Peace and Accord (designed by English architect N. Foster), House of Ministries, "Khan Shatyr" shopping and entertainment mall, a lot of residential complexes, administrative, socio-cultural and industrial facilities.
Over fifteen years, new universities emerged on the left bank, among which are the Nazarbayev University and L. Gumilev Eurasian National University. The National Medical Holding was built, combining 6 innovative healthcare facilities. In 2011, during the VII Asian Winter Games, new sports facilities were put to operation, including- "Sary-Arka" cycle track, "Alau" Ice Palace and "Astana Arena" stadium. "Astana Opera" National Opera and Ballet Theatre has opened its doors in 2013. Currently Space Center is being constructed, on the basis of which modern satellites will be assembled.
Currently, the territory of "Astana – the New City" special economic zone exceeds 7 thousand hectares. Numerous facilities created with the involvement of the best local and foreign architects have become the landmarks of independent Kazakhstan.