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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:

HSE University Brings Major Conference in Philosophical Logic to Russia for the First Time

On October 2-4, HSE University hosted the international conference Trends in Logic 19. Current Issues in Philosophical Logic for the first time in Russia. The conference, which attracted a number of prominent Russian and international scholars, was organized jointly by the journal Studia Logica and the HSE International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics and Formal Philosophy.

HSE Celebrates 25 Years of Educational Partnerships with the Netherlands

On October 2 and 3, HSE University simultaneously celebrated two anniversaries of Russian-Dutch academic cooperation: the 25th anniversary of joint educational programmes between HSE University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the 10th anniversary of the Dutch educational center, Nuffic Neso Russia, with which HSE has a long-standing partnership.

Where Prototyping Meets Law: Visiting Lecturer Talks Citizen Sensing at HSE

Anna Berti Suman, PhD candidate from the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) at Tilburg University and Visiting Researcher at the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) recently spent a week at HSE’s Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism as a Visiting Lecturer. Anna led two seminars and participated in a public round table on ‘Law, Data and the City’. HSE News Service spoke with her about her seminars, the round table, and her impressions of Moscow.

Russian and Chinese Education Systems Changing through the Influence of Digital Technology

The Second Russia-China Education Research Conference – Digital Transformation of Education and Artificial Intelligence – was held last week at HSE University. Researchers from the two countries discussed changes taking place in the national education systems thanks to the digital revolution, as well as what can be borrowed from mutual experiences.

HSE University and University of Bergen Sign Cooperation Agreement

The agreement provides for academic and cultural cooperation between the universities, student exchange, and joint research. HSE University and the University of Bergen have been partners in educational initiatives for eight years. The partnership began when the HSE Faculty of Law signed an agreement with the Norwegian university.

Economists and Researchers Gather at International Conference on Wealth and Income in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries

On September 17-18, HSE University hosted a special conference with the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) on the topic of Experiences and Challenges in Measuring Income and Wealth in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries. This was the first IARIW conference to be held in a CIS country. HSE News Service spoke with American economist Barbara Fraumeni about her work with economic accounting and human capital and her experience attending the conference in Moscow.

HSE University and Italian Embassy Sign Agreement on Internships for Italian Students

On September 20, HSE University Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic Pasquale Terracciano signed a cooperation agreement between the Embassy of Italy and HSE University.

Upcoming Neuroeconomics Symposium Aims to Share New Research and Build International Collaboration

On September 23-24, the CCCP19 Symposium ‘Cognition, Computation, Neuroeconomics and Performance’ will be held at HSE University. The goal of the symposium is to exhibit cutting edge research at the CCDM, a leading cognitive neuroscience research centre in Russia, and LNC2, a leading European research centre in neuroeconomics, cognitive neuroscience and neural theory. Ahead of CCCP19, the HSE News Service spoke with the conference organizer and several invited speakers about the plan for this symposium and the importance of their research in the field.


proposals for new international laboratories at HSE University have been received from researchers from Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the USA, Estonia, and Japan.

Continuing Last Year’s Success at the Upcoming Conference in Applied Economics

The Second ICEF Conference in Applied Economics will be held at HSE University on September 14. The HSE News service spoke with organizers and participants about the upcoming full-day event, which features eight papers presented by renowned specialists from Russia and across Europe and concludes with an evening dinner.