VCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center) Institute hosted on September 7 the fourth discussion session of the Gorod Moscow Center for Urban Studies, bringing together for a round-table discussion heads of major development companies, real estate agents, architects, economists, urbanists and representatives of the Moscow Town-Planning Policy and Construction Complex. Experts, businessmen and government officials discussed a large-scale project of Moscow industrial areas renovation.

Discussion participants, while sharing the opinion of the pressing need for the development the areas of the so-called ‘Moscow rust belt’, however, mentioned the issues arising or that could possibly arise in the course of this program implementation. One of the most pressing issues is maintaining a balance between residential and non-residential premises in the development of former industrial areas.

Natalia Lisyukova, Head of the Moskomstroyinvest Investment Program Creation and Implementation Department, noted that the city is currently prioritizing balanced development: 10-15% of total area is planned to be used for recreation purposes as parks and public gardens, and as regards the ratio of residential premises and workplaces, the city is striving to reach a 50/50 parity. In this regard, the upgrade of the ZiL production area is one of the most interesting and promising projects, which will include, besides the new residential quarters, 12 kindergartens, schools catering to 3.5 thousand students, business centers and an amusement park. In this project, investors are not only building facilities that are attractive in terms of their profitability, but are also investing into infrastructure development.

Ivan Romanov, Managing Director of LSR Group, updated the audience of the ambitious targets set with respect to ZIL industrial areas redevelopment. LSR Group is building ZilArt residential estate in the north of the former industrial area, and will be developing its southern area. Both projects provide for building social facilities, in addition to the construction of residential and commercial real estate. One of the specific peculiarities of the project is creating a new history and image of this area as perceived by the citizens.

A balanced and integrated approach to the renovation of industrial areas also implies a parallel development of the network of municipal roads, noted Anton Safonov, Deputy Head of Business Development at Mosinzhproekt JSC. Vladykino area, where redevelopment was preceded by the opening of a new Metro line, may be used as an example here.

Denis Kolokolnikov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RRF Group and Chairman of the Expert Council for Redevelopment of the Russian Managers and Developers Guild, also said that transport infrastructure development should also precede the development of industrial areas. The launch of the Moscow Central Circle is a good example of a well thought-out municipal policy in this matter. However, the expert did not think that developers should be obliged to create new jobs. In his opinion, the balance of residential and non-residential development of territories should be determined by the needs of people who live, work, spend their leisure time and go to school there, rather than by unified standards.

The subject of preserving the Capital’s industrial potential prompted a heated debate.

Natalia Popkova, Head of Industrial Policies Division, Department of Science, Industrial Policies and Entrepreneurship of Moscow, speaking in defence of comprehensive development of territories referred to an urgent need of “turning around to face” the industry and promoting the industrial development. Moscow Government is ready to support efficient production with real tax benefits and to become the first investor in the relevant infrastructure development by establishing special urban investment programs.

Moscow’s industrial potential should be preserved and the residents should be provided with comfortable living conditions, – said Irina Ilyina, Director of the Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning, National Research University Higher School of Economics. However, the expert believes that in planning steps to achieve the “comfort living” the city’s current needs should not be the only factor to rely on without forecasting how priorities would change in ten years or in half a century.

Economist Konstantin Laufer (in 2004-2016, Leading Researcher, Department of Urban Policy and Investment Potential of Moscow, State Unitary Enterprise “Moscow General Planning Research and Project Institute”) agrees with Irina Ilyina. Industrial zones should keep the role of developing the City’s priority areas of industrial production. However, the new technological mode lays down a new approach to arranging production. Therefore, the expert believes that science which will determine the production should be the priority for development. And this should lead to urban planning solutions.

The need for Moscow to search for its way of development in the new technological mode was also noted by Vyacheslav Ilyichev, Academician and Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences (RAACS) in innovations, Honorary Scientist of the RF, Academician of the Russian Academy of Engineering, Honorary Builder of Russia. The expert forecasts the transition of the economy to the sixth mode in 2030.

Vladislav Lutskov, Director of Investments, Est-a-Tet, opined that the City’s industrial production should be more cost-effective, less energy-intensive. Investments should be made in the areas where they are relevant and, therefore, profitable. Accordingly, new production projects will be implemented in the territories where there are relevant conditions, including special preferences.

The discussion participants paid much attention to arranging urban environment. The majority agreed that innovative approaches were also required in former industrial zones development.

Dimitry Fesenko, Editor-in-Chief, Arkhitekturny Vestnik magazine, Corresponding Member of International Academy of Architecture and Adviser to the RAACS, said that modern high-technology production, and all the more so, the 6-th mode production set quite different development standards. Occupying a much smaller area, it may get along together with the residential sector on the same territory.

Mark Safronov, Chief Architect of Architectural Bureau “PROEKTUS”, who stands the first in the international competition rating for the concept of architectural and urban development of “SERP I Molot” Plant’s territory, noted Moscow industrial areas’ special potential which allows to preserve their legacy through modern high-density development.

Sergey Nepomnyashchiy, Chief Architect, Institute of Heliotecture, shared his experience in using that approach. The round table participants were given a presentation of the project of reconstruction of the territory of the Plant named after Khrunichev. Efficient use of space enables creating additional levels for accommodation of vegetation, transport and support services, several times multiplying the useful area. And advance construction technologies make the project profitable even from economic perspective.

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