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  • Moscow Urban Forum 2015: Housing Policy, Internet Services, and Dreams of a New Moscow

Moscow Urban Forum 2015: Housing Policy, Internet Services, and Dreams of a New Moscow

Московский урбанистический форум-2014

On October 16-17, the annual Moscow Urban Forum will take place in the Moscow Manege. For the first time ever, this year's event is being organised by the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning, which proposed a new format for the event.

Forum Objectives

The Moscow Urban Forum has taken place for five years in a row. The forum was created as a platform to facilitate communication between the government, businesses, and the expert community on key issues concerning urban development. But the forum changed this year and has been split up into two parts. The upcoming October forum will focus on cases and problems in Moscow, while the forum set to take place in July 2016 will take on a global, regional, and Moscow-focused agenda.


This is the first year that the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning has managed the event. The School has come up with the main topics of discussion, as well as a list of experts to speak at the event. The main goal of the forum will be to go in depth on the types of problems typical of Moscow, as well as promote communication and bring in representatives from a wide variety of expert and research organisations.

The first day of the event will be focused on business, while the second day will be celebratory in nature and open to the general public.

At a plenary session on October 16, participants can expect to see speeches by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, representatives of the federal government, as well as foreign delegations, including the Lord Mayor of Leipzig, the Vice Mayor of Milan, and the former Chief Architect of Barcelona.

Key Topics of Interest

One of the sessions will be devoted to the development of a polycentric city model. Other topics of discussion include development prospects for the Moscow River, the Moscow Little Ring Railway, transport hubs, and peripheral regions as a whole. In the future, the Moscow River and the Little Ring Railway might become a new spatial framework for the city that will serve as the centre of development for new activities and regions that are not very popular today, according to the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning. This discussion is expected to continue at the July forum, and comprehensive research might be done on the matter.

Moscow housing policy will be the other session's leitmotif. This topic is close to nearly everyone’s heart at the forum. A separate session will be devoted to internet services and the development of electronic methods of interacting with residents. ‘This is an area in which the Moscow government has achieve huge success over the last several years,’ says Vera Leonova of the Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning. ‘In this regard, Moscow started completely from scratch and has reached a level comparable to some of the world’s leading metropolises. You have to understand that a city is not only a physical, offline space. It’s also a new online space that will continue to flourish. Residents constantly “relocate” between the online and offline city, and a virtual atmosphere is being formed by the way people live in the real city. This is what has already begun changing usual social, economic, and communicative practices,’ she adds.

Plans for the Festival

The forum will be open to the general public on October 17. Guests are invited to take part in master classes, listen to speeches by prominent urban activists, and attend various concerts planned for the event. The Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning is also the organiser of the educational programme at the festival. This will include lectures, presentations, and round tables.

Lecturers include Vicente Guallart, who is the former Chief Architect of Barcelona and the founder of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC); CUNY Professor Lev Manovich; Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) Professor Lawrence Barth; and more.


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