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Skolkovo Innovation Center as a City: Physical, Mental and Social Space

ФИО студента: Nadezhda Lebedeva

Руководитель: Ivan Mitin

Кампус/факультет: Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism

Программа: Urban Development and Spatial Planning (Master)

Год защиты: 2017

The research is aimed at creating an integrated characteristic of the Skolkovo Innovation Center. For this purpose, the physical, mental and social spaces of Skolkovo are examined on the basis of theoretical approaches developed by A. Lefebvre, E. Soja. Also the studies of social practices by P. Bourdieu and M. de Serto are used to explore the social or lived space. The main methods of research are in-depth interviews, semi-structured observation and documents analysis. Since the work is done within the case-study strategy using qualitative methods, it does not have a well-defined hypothesis. Nevertheless, the study is based on the assumption that the Skolkovo Innovation Center represents a kind of post-modern urban space, namely, exopolis. The results of the empirical research allowed to confirm this assumption. It was found that Skolkovo has the number of features, that are common for exopolis, for instance: artificial nature of the origin, the absence of a clear territorial structure, the lack of local history and identity. However, the most important characteristic of Skolkovo as exopolis is the disappearance of a clear distinction between the real and the imaginary. In addition to typical for exopolis features, as a result of the study, Skolkovo's specific characteristics as a set of three spaces were discovered. There is a gap between the mental space of the powerful groups, which forms the physical space, and the lived space of the "inhabitants" of Skolkovo (students and residents). This gap is expressed in the discrepancy of everyday needs of the inhabitants and the ideas of the creators about the ideal urban environment. For example, overestimated requirements for small businesses cause the lack of necessary services (shops, pharmacies, etc.) on the territory. And attempts to create a lively socio-cultural environment from a "tabula rasa" do not match the interests and opportunities (both time and financial) of the inhabitants.

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