“Very often people’s vision does not coincide with what the authorities plan”
The theme of creating a comfortable urban environment became a key topic at the V All-Russian Forum “Environment for Life: City and Water” held in Nizhny Novgorod. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who arrived on a visit to the region, supported the young architects, promised to take wider account of people’s opinion in the complex improvement of territories and spoke about the large-scale program for the development of embankments in the country.
It was assumed that in addition to Nizhny Novgorod, as part of his working trip, the Prime Minister will visit the homeland of Seraphim of Sarov – the closed city of Sarov. However, literally on the eve of the visit, the program had to be changed on the fly – forest fires surrounded Sarov closely.
However, in Nizhny, the program of Mishustin’s stay was very eventful. The prime minister went straight from the plane to the forum, where he arrived in a dark blue, matching suit, medical mask with the flag of the Russian Federation.
The main topic of the forum was water, more precisely, the development of embankments in Russian cities. There are embankments in 267 cities, but only 10 percent are landscaped. As part of the federal program for their improvement, embankments are currently being reconstructed in Ivanovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Kislovodsk, Krasnoyarsk, in the small Russian town of Gavrilov Posad. The prime minister looked with interest at several stands with projects of new water areas in the regions.
Another important topic of the event was the expansion of the program for the training of architects. Young architect Elizaveta Grechukhina from the Leningrad Region said that this year her region presented 10 projects in all four nominations to the All-Russian competition for the best projects for creating a comfortable urban environment.
For example, in the nomination “Historical Settlement” a project of complex improvement of the city of Shlisselburg is presented, which provides for the reconstruction of embankments and, in general, will make the settlement an attractive tourist destination. The total prize fund of the competition has been doubled by the government since last year, to 10 billion rubles, and almost half of the projects will receive grants from 35 to 100 million rubles for implementation (the number of winners of the competition in 2021 was increased from 80 to 160). Already this year, the Leningrad Region is implementing seven projects that have become winners of the last year.
Lilia Gizzyatova from Primorsky Krai hopes to win two projects. One of them is the rebranding of the city of Bolshoy Kamen, which was once a closed strategic facility, on the territory of which there was a submarine repair complex, and now a shipyard is being built. “The entire Primorsky Territory receives 600 million rubles from the Russian budget per year under the item“ improvement ”, of which 200 million go to Vladivostok. Cities with a small population receive very little money (for example, Bolshoy Kamen – 12 million), and such competitions are a significant help for their development, “Gizzyatova told MK.
However, competitions also increase the prestige of the profession of an architect. For example, the former chief architect of the city of Zelenogradsk in the Kaliningrad region, Ilya Pozdnyakov, one of the winners of the 2018 competition (thanks to his completed improvement project, the cost of real estate in the seaside town increased by 60% over the year), he went up – he was appointed chief architect of the Krasnodar Territory. And now he is submitting 5 projects of his region to the competition at once.
“Krasnodar Territory is one of the most active, but at the same time problematic regions. But the more problems there are, the more interesting it is to solve them, ”he told MK. One of the projects presented by the Krasnodar Territory in the Small Towns nomination is the improvement of Armavir, which, as Pozdnyakov says, has not yet been spoiled by illiterate investment projects.
During his visit to the exhibition, Mishustin stressed that when implementing projects to create a comfortable urban environment, it is very important to take into account the opinion of residents. “We are developing a very important direction, we will change historical cities. And all projects must pass public discussion. We have collected the opinions of 10 million people around the country who took part in online voting on projects for improving the urban environment, and very often people’s vision does not coincide with what the authorities plan, ”Mishustin said.