Almaty in Kazakhstan is the first city in Central Asia to identify circular economy opportunities. The city commissioned an international consortium — Shifting Paradigms, Circle Economy, Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (CSPC), FABRICations and Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) — to map resource consumption. The analysis produced new cross-sectoral circular economy strategies to achieve the city’s sustainable development ambitions. This resource metabolism scan comes as Almaty achieves impressive economic growth, re-establishing its position as an exporter of agricultural commodities. An important station on the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s development plan to improve trans-continental cooperation, Almaty sees connectivity with Asia, Europe and other regions as key to growing international trade. At the same time, the government is opening new channels for public participation in urban planning decisions, to meet the needs of its citizens.