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Review of 2015 at the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning

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

 Alexei Novikov - Dean of the School // Photo: Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning

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.

Winter School

The Urban Studies Winter School 2015 // photo: Tatiana Yevseyeva

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. 

Doxiadis week

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

Iran forum participants // photo: Komeil Shafagh

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

Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning - programme director Moscow Urban Forum // photo: 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. 

See also:

Poletaev Readings Consider New Turns In and Away from Theory in the Humanities

The Poletaev Readings, dedicated to the memory of Andrey Poletaev, one of the founders of the Poletaev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (Russian acronym — IGITI), is a major annual event of the Institute. The event was set to mark its 10th anniversary in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the anniversary forum has been postponed to 2021. In its place, the organizers have arranged the Poletaev Readings 9¾, which were held online. HSE News Service spoke with the event organizer and some of the participants.

International Regional Studies: Russia’s Big Hunt for Global Markets

The Second International Conference ‘East and West in the New Transformation Phase: Asia Encountering the Challenges Of Deglobalization’ will be held from December 16-17, 2020. According to Vera Vishnyakova, Head of theFaculty of World Economy and International Affairs School of International Regional Studies, it will be the first event to discuss the most pressing questions in contemporary international regional studies.

2020 iCare Participants Discuss the Economic Effects of the Pandemic, the Accessibility of Higher Education in Russia, and More

On September 21, the VIII International Conference on Applied Research in Economics (iCare) was held online, bringing together more than 100 researchers from 19 countries. Organizers, speakers, teachers, and students shared their impressions of the event and talked about the opportunities that the conference opens up for them.

New Online School on Population Genetics and Analysis

The HSE International Laboratory of Statistical and Computational Genomics has launched an online school for applied population genetics and analysis. The school does not require special knowledge in biology and is aimed at students, graduate students, and postdocs in mathematics, physics, and computer programming.

From Shocks and Crises to Inequality, the Environment and Coronavirus: HSE University in Perm to Host 8th iCare Conference

On September 21, 2020, the HSE University - Perm will hold its eighth iCare — International Conference on Applied Research in Economics (and Finance and Management). This year, the event will be held online for the first time, and participants will not only be able to give presentations, but will also have the opportunity to talk in informal ‘virtual rooms’.

Third International Economics Olympiad Kicks Off Online

This year’s International Economics Olympiad for high school students started on September 7 with an opening ceremony that celebrated the biggest and most diverse group of students yet to compete in the Olympiad, now in its third year. 29 teams from 29 countries will compete this time. The event, which is being held online due to the pandemic, will last until September 13.

New Inequality, Environmental Impact and Other Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic: III ICEF Conference on Applied Economics Focuses on COVID-19

This year, the ICEF Conference on Applied Economics will be held online for the first time ever. On September 12, experts from around the world will discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy. The HSE News Services describes the papers that will be presented and why the organizers decided to devote this event to COVID-19.

‘My Entire Two Years of Studying at HSE University Were Very Happy’

Maria Melnikova, a graduate of the HSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism Master’s programme inUrban Development and Spatial Planning, has written a book entitled Not Just Prefabs: The German Experience of Working with Mass Housing Neighbourhoods. She describes how Germany investigates and solves problems of housing in the city suburbs. Maria spoke with the HSE News Service about her interest in this topic, what she thinks about urban renewal and what she does in Berlin.

HSE and Coursera to Host International eSTARS Conference

In December 2020, the HSE eLearning Office, together with the global online platform Coursera, will host the eSTARS International eLearning Conference.

MIEM, WorldSkills Russia, and Industrial Partners Hold International Corporate Security Training Modules and Competition

From June 22 to July 9, 2020, the 2020 International BRICS Future Skills Camp Championship, which allows students to both expand and test their skills in enterprise information systems security, took place. The event was jointly organized by WorldSkills Russia (WSR), the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE), and Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). Students from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the Republic of South Africa participated in the competition.