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.
On May 23-24, following the Days of the International Academy of Education held earlier this week, the General Assembly of the International Academy of Education took place at HSE University Moscow. The assembly brings together education researchers and experts from all over the world, and this is the first time that the biannual meeting was held in Russia. Over the course of two days, members discussed joint projects and publications and met newly inducted members who had the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their research. Members also took part in small group discussions on a variety of topics, including digital literacy and math education.
On May 20, the Days of the International Academy of Education commenced at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Experts from all over the world engaged in identifying global education policy trends will hold a series of meetings, master classes, seminars and open lectures. They will share their experience with Russian researchers, instructors and education policy makers over the course of three days.
This year, the HSE Faculty of Law is launching new extended programmes in Common Law, for which graduates will receive a degree from the University of London. These programmes are open for first-year students, as well as for other students and professionals.
The Higher School of Economics has become a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). It is a key partner of UNESCO and the oldest global association that aims to provide quality and affordable online education to students around the world. Today HSE is the only representative of Russia in ICDE.
The agreement establishes a student- and academic-exchange programme and the opportunity for joint educational and research project development. The agreement was signed on April 8 with the participation of representatives of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
From February 25 to March 2, HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs hosted an academic module of the University Consortium, an inter-regional training programme for outstanding students that aims to promote mutual understanding, balanced analysis, and genuine dialogue among the US, EU, and Russia.
HSE Gears up for Staff and Student Conference: A Look Back at the University’s International Activities
On March 20, a conference of HSE staff and students will take place at HSE. It will consider the university’s development programme and elect the new Academic Council. The previous conference took place five years ago, in 2014, and the university has changed a lot since then. HSE News Service talked to some of the university leaders about what has changed in their area of responsibility over this period.
At the invitation of Professor Vladimir Kantor, Head of the International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue, Swiss Ambassador Yves Rossier visited HSE on Wednesday, 13 February, to give a lecture and meet with faculty and students. In addition to Professor Kantor and students of his International Laboratory, Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov and faculty and students of the School of Philosophy and the HSE Lyceum were in attendance. Vice Rector Prostakov delivered the opening remarks.
Sound artist Robert Elias Stokowy of Berlin and Yulia Chernenko,lecturer at the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, have initiated a joint German-Russian artistic research project entitled, ‘Phenomenology of Darkness’.
The two universities have signed a student exchange agreement. Now HSE students will be able to spend a semester in Shenzhen, while Chinese students get to spend a semester at HSE.