Russian urban policy against the laws of dialectics: Do quantitative changes lead to qualitative leap?

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Submission Summary
Currently most Russian cities are on the edge of reinventing the policy of long-term strategic and spatial planning. Instead of specific to an oil-based economy top-down approach new practice of stakeholders' involvement in the process of planning become an important contribution to the future development of the city. The National Projects as a new Federal development paradigm outlined by President Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly at the beginning of this year mark a new beginning in Russia’s economic policy. National Projects creates the framework for long term urban planning in modern Russia by introducing quantitative indicators for line ministries. However, redevelopment of all public services measured in sq.m. remained the key indicator for the evaluation of the quality of the urban environment. Do quantitative changes always lead to a qualitative leap? Nowadays, there are a lot of challenges that local city Administrations meet in their desire to implement social and economic plans to the spatial opportunities. In support of these initiatives The Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector of the Russian Federation found The All-Russian Competition for the best projects for comfortable urban environment in small towns and historic settlements in 2018. Since then more than 240 cities received a direct federal subsidy for the implementation of their project. Initially, the requirements for application were focused on redevelopment of public spaces, inherited from the Soviet past, such as parks and squares. Gradually, the level of applications has improved and currently represents a detailed master-plan for the priority territory and includes commercial and budget investment to the public infrastructure, housing project, social and cultural projects. The major reason for scaling up projects is organizations recommendation to establish more linkages within The National Projects among their key components. One of the most successful Russian regions that took the 1st place in The All-Russian Competition is Republic Bashkiria. Bashkiria takes 5th place by population among Russian subjects (except Moscow and Moscow region) and the 1st place among regions with an oil-based economy. During the last 3 years The Government of Bashkiria is introducing the complex approach to the reloading of its 21 cities. To provide the regional levels of governance NPO Institute for Urban Development of the Republic Bashkiria was established, the body obeys directly to the Head of the Region. Institute is responsible for the coordination of priority projects in terms of communication between key stakeholders and citizens, municipalities, regional and federal level of line ministries. One of the winner project was developed in 2019 for Yanaul, Bashkir town with 23,000 population and weak but diverse economy due to the absence of oil companies on the territory. In 2019 the master-plan for the city center was developed as the application for The All-Russian Competition. Wild range of participatory planning during the project development allowed to attract funds from public and private sectors that six times bigger than the annual city budget. So, one of the key public stakeholders - The Russian Railways, invests at the construction of a new pedestrian bridge and square around Railway Station. In parallel, private investors will construct the hotel and the market. Moreover, the master-plan becomes the basement for the local municipal programs of realization the National programs for the next 5 years. Thus, The All-Russian Competition creates the initiatives of implementation of the federal quantitative agenda of urban planning to the local level, while regional institutions interested in systematic spatial development, thereby ensuring a qualitative leap.
Submission ID :
Submission Type
Submission Track
2: Ensuring the Economic Diversity and Resilience
urban and strategic planner
NGO Institute for Urban Development of cities in Bashkortostan
The Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector of the Russian Federation
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