Review of 2015 at the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning
2015 has been a year of many changes for the School. The appointment of a new Dean at the start of the year kicked off a flood of innovations. Launching exciting projects and participating in national and international events, the school has been building its reputation and increasing visibility both in Russia and as far afield as Iran and Hong Kong. Winter and Summer Schools and the Laboratory of Advocacy Planning bring more ideas and minds to focus on revolutionising the social process of Urban Planning in Russia and around the world.
Alexei Novikov Appointed Dean of the School
The appointment of Alexei Novikov as Dean was one of the most important events of last year. Professor Novikov graduated from the Geography Faculty at Lomonosov, Moscow State University in 1983 and defended his Candidate of Geographical Sciences Degree (D. Sc. equivalent) in 1988. From 2001 - 2012 he was Managing Director of Standard and Poor, Russia and CIS, and from 2012 - 2014, Managing Director of the Thomson Reuters Group in Russia and the CIS. Alexei Novikov has been teaching at the school since 2011 and runs a course on the Cultural Landscape of the City. He is maintaining his predecessor A.A. Vysokovsky’s vision for the school’s development and adding new programmes.
The Winter School is a fun educational HSE project which essentially, in a residential week of courses, outlines the issues and knowledge covered in the two-year Master's Programme in Urban Planning. The school attracted students from different cities across Russia, mostly from geography faculties but there were architects and economists among them as well.
Lectures in the Dostoevsky Library
In 2015 the Dostoevsky Library became a venue for regular public lectures and discussions. Besides the conceptual resonance, (Dostoevsky being one of the most urban authors, his understanding of the city cannot fail to be of interest to our school), free entry to the library makes it accessible to all who are interested and at the same time preserves a relatively intimate space, seating 80-90 for a lecture hall. We presented more than 30 lectures/discussions in the library including by Barcelona’s former chief architect Vicente Guallart, president of the Russian Union of Architects Andrei Bokov, Academic Supervisor for the Master’s in Regional and Urban Planning at LSE, Nancy Holman and many others.
On May 14th the school marked what would have been the 101st birthday of Greek architect Konstantinos Doxiadis - famous for his project for Pakistan’s new capital, Islamabad. Doxiadis worked in urban planning in many countries in Africa, the Middle East and in Europe.
Urban Studies Students on Winning Team in Architecture Competition
On May 25th the results of the competition to design a concept for the development of the Moscow River Simonovsky Embankment came through. Competitors spent a month studying the territory, its transport access, historical-cultural potential, existing development and functions and visual links. The winners were a mixed team of students from the Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning, the Moscow Institute of Architecture and RANEPA. (Inter-university) Friendship was victorious and besides, the students’ ideas for the development will be taken into account and could be used in the final project. A jury of eleven experts including Moscow’s chief architect Sergei Kuznetsov evaluated the competition entries.
Adaptive City Summer School
One of the highlights of the year was the June to August summer school - Adaptive City. The school invited leading international researchers in fields variously connected to the concept of a constantly evolving city in the era of megacities and hi-tech to come to Moscow for three summer months to give lectures and join discussions. Seven urbanists including Barcelona architect Vicente Guallart, new media guru Lev Manovich and one of the leading experts on smart cities Anthony Townsend, accepted our invitation. The programme we devised included lectures at the Strelka Institute (as part of our project with the institute), but none of it could have happened without the support of the US embassy in Moscow and in particular the cultural section’s Maria Lvova and the Habidatum company.
Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning in Iran
Urban School International team: staff and students from the school were invited to participate in the international policy forum on urban growth and conservation in Eurasia in Iran from September 20th to October 3rd. They spent the first ten days on an international student workshop in the ancient city of Hamadan. Students from Iran, China, Russia and Japan discussed the city’s current problems with a team of international tutors and proposed possible ways for it to develop.
The second part of the forum was an international conference in Teheran where they shared experience on historical urban conservation, discussed ways to attract investment to ancient city centres and regulate construction in old districts and much else. The school was represented by Deputy Dean Vitaly Stadnikov, School Expert Marina Sapunov and the students Sofia Pershina and Anastasia Shemetova.
Graduate School of Urban Studies - Programme Director of the Moscow Urban Forum
The school was put in charge of the programme for the 5th annual Moscow Urban Forum at Manege October 16-17. As programme directors we had to choose the main themes, gather the experts and devise the discussions. From this year on the Moscow Urban Forum will split into two parts. While the October forum was focussed on Moscow, the forum planned for July 2016 will combine a global, regional and local agenda.
Laboratory of Advocacy Planning Opening
A new additional structure to the school is the LAP Laboratory the purpose of which is to enable the transformation of urban planning into an adversarial procedure and provide all sides with independent expertise. The idea and inspiration for the laboratory comes from the American urban planner and lawyer Paul Davidoff (1930 - 1984).
Graduate School of Urban Studies in Hong Kong
In December on a business trip organised from the Russian side by the Moscow Department of Foreign Trade and International Communications and the Moscow Centre for International Cooperation, our colleagues Kristina Ishkhanova and Anastasia Dubova visited Hong Kong. They went to a conference on innovation in urban development, and to meetings with representatives of several project developer company directors, shared experience on complex territorial development and went on trips to view project territories.
Participants of Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs Tackle Trade, International Institutions, and More
On Thursday, July 11, students and faculty of the International Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs bid farewell with a festive awards ceremony and closing lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.
One of the perks of studying at HSE University is its wide range of academic mobility programmes. Ksenia Semykina, a master’s student of Comparative Social Research, recently spent a semester at the Free University of Berlin with the support of an Erasmus+ scholarship. She shared some practical advice on how to live and study abroad with HSE News Service.
HSE University and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme signed an agreement to conduct joint research on urban development. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and UN Under-Secretary-General Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who heads the UN-Habitat programme, signed the letter of intent at the recent Moscow Urban Forum, which was held on July 4-7 at Moscow’s Zaryadye Park.
Students who have been accepted to the HSE bachelor’s programmes in ‘Law’ and ‘Private Law’ may simultaneously enroll in the second degree programme at the University of London to supplement their basic training. The second degree programme is also open to external students and working professionals.
On June 24 – 28, HSE University – St. Petersburg hosted the International University Startups & Spin-Offs Festival (HSE Fest), which brings together students from across the world to pitch their startups for a one-time chance to win grants that will help them take their projects to the next level.
The International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at HSE University held a Graduate Student Seminar in Soviet History together with Sciences Po (France) on June 17 – 18, 2019. HSE News Service spoke with participants and instructors of the seminar, which examinedthe impact of WWII on the Soviet Union and surrounding regions, as well as aspects of the Soviet system from Stalin up to the 1980s.
As part of the International Partners Week, a ceremony of setting up Ca' Foscari University Information Corner at HSE University took place on June 19.
On June 18, the third International Partners’ Week ‘Academic Agility: Preparing Students for an Uncertain Future’ began at HSE University. The event brings together representatives of more than 30 universities from 16 countries, including France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, the USA, Finland, the United Kingdom, and China. They have all come to Moscow to learn more about the kind of learning experience HSE University can provide, as well as to discuss practical challenges and solutions regarding international mobility.
On June 3-4, a conference entitled ‘Beyond Post-Truth: Media Landscapes in the “Age of Insecurity”’ was held in St. Petersburg. The conference was jointly organized by the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) at HSE University, the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe at GWZO Leipzig, the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, and Justus Liebig University Giessen.
This May, HSE and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI, Republic of Korea) signed a cooperation agreement on science and advanced technology research. This agreement was signed by Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, and Dr. Hwang-Hee Cho, STEPI President.