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Regular version of the site

IV Moscow Urban Forum: Catalysts of Growth and Best Practice in Global Cities

View on Myasnitskaya Ulitsa from HSE new building (11 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa)

View on Myasnitskaya Ulitsa from HSE new building (11 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa)

On 11-12 December the IV Moscow Urban Forum ‘Drivers of City Development’ took place. The forum, an annual event since 2011, is an international conference on urban design, architecture, economics and strategic city planning. 

Leading world experts on urban studies, government officials and businessmen and mayors of Russian and foreign cities gathered at the Manezh central exhibition hall to discuss global, Russian and Moscow city agendas and a wide range of contemporary urban issues.

A university can create a better quality urban environment

One session at the forum was devoted to the role of university buildings in the life of megacities. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov spoke about how HSE is working in tandem with the city to develop its campuses.

He outlined four different models for university campuses - those built in isolation from cities, those built as a separate whole inside cities, those with buildings spread sporadically around a city and those in the city with increased connectedness between buildings.

The isolated campus

This model is most common in the US with rare examples in Europe - Oxford and Cambridge universities are not in this category because they are inside towns even though the towns grew around them. In Russia there are examples of attempts to create a new campus in several places outside towns - Skolkovo for example, outside Moscow and the Far Eastern Federal University, ‘planted’ on Russky Island off the coast of Vladivostok.

Self-contained campus within the city

This is the model you’ll find more commonly in Russia, and in China too. Several of Shanghai’s universities have campuses like self-contained districts in the city. This has some advantages over the isolated model - closer connections with the city and more opportunities for interaction with students who don’t live in university accommodation.

University ‘scattered’ around the city

You come across this kind of university most often in large Russian cities. HSE’s research shows that of 120 universities in Moscow, about half of them have buildings scattered all over the city and don’t have any connectedness in terms of urban territory. This chaotic allocation of university buildings happened particularly in the post-soviet period when projects to create new classrooms and student hostels were realised wherever they could find a space, often miles away from the main university buildings. 

This undermines the internal connectedness of a university and students and teachers in different faculties simply lose sight of each other. It overloads the transport system and wastes enormous amounts of time. HSE Students who go to classes in the centre of Moscow and live in the hostel at Odintsova for six years ( 4 years BA and two years MA) spend the equivalent of one whole year on public transport.  

Allocated campus with increased connectedness between buildings

This is the kind of campus HSE has decided to develop with the city authorities. The main principle determining the location of buildings is that students and teachers should not spend more than half an hour getting from one to another. HSE decided to stretch most of its buildings along the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya Line on the metro (on its central stations).

As well as solving the transport problems, this model allows us to plug the university infrastructure into the city infrastructure to connect the city and university services and make a new kind of city and cultural environment as has happened in Boston (Harvard) and Paris (Latin Quarter and Sorbonne). For Moscow, parts of which have a rather low level of urban resources, this is a relevant and urgent task.

What can HSE give the city  

HSE is suggesting to the city authorities to build university buildings in the North-East section of the Boulevard Ring road. Yaroslav Kuzminov says, ‘We can create a new urban environment in the district.’ The first stage would mean gradually saturating the historical part of the city with university activity, regenerating the environment by creating pedestrian zones which the students could use.

The second stage would be creating university services like time clubs, galleries, cultural centres for students and teachers. In the final, third stage when the campus is already taking shape and various cultural and social objects gravitate towards it like restaurants and youth hotels, the whole district becomes attractive not just for locals but for tourists and people who live outside the area, as happened with the Latin quarter in Paris.

So the university offers the city and its inhabitants and visitors sports and leisure activities, an open lectorium, and helps to transform libraries and create gallery spaces. As Yaroslav Kuzminov points out, ‘We’ve already begun the process with our University Open City’ project. Lots of people heard about our programmes in Moscow’s parks and museums. In future they’ll be concentrated in the central districts of the university location.’

See also:

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Ten Reasons to Apply for the Master’s Programme in Prototyping Future Cities

Studying in an English-taught curriculum, working with big data, learning the internet of things, and studying smart city technologies—these are some of the key features of the Master’s Programme ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ offered by the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism. Read on to learn more reasons why future urbanists choose the programme.

How Cities Will Change After the Pandemic

Traditional urban planning in the United States and Europe developed in response to the epidemics of cholera, tuberculosis, and typhoid. In an op-ed for RBC, Nadezhda Khort, curator of the Shukhov Laboratory of Experimental Urban Design and the Master’s programme ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ in the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, considers the skills and practices cities should employ in post-pandemic urban development.

Car Sharing Minus the Driver: How Self-Driving Vehicles Will Change Moscow

In 15 years, the share of self-driving passenger vehicles on Moscow’s roads will exceed 60%. However, this change will not have a significant impact if personal vehicle travel is not reduced and car sharing services are not expanded. For the first time, HSE researchers have assessed the effects of self-driving cars on the city. In their study, Alexei Zomarev and Maria Rozhenko lay out predictions for 2030 and 2035.

‘Keeping a Student’s Attention Online Is Harder Than in the Classroom’

After a week off, HSE students returned to their online classes this week. HSE News spoke with instructors of the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism about what kinds of new strategies and approaches they are using in their online instruction.

Build It and They Will Come

Migration, both domestic and abroad, is playing a major role in transforming the world’s largest cities, and Moscow is no exception. Researchers at HSE University, the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IGRAN) and Strelka KB identified which cities’ residents are buying newly built apartments in the capital and how economic inequality between Russia’s regions is changing the face of the city.

Moscow-2050 Exhibition Opens at Shukhov Lab

In December 2019, Shukhov Lab – the HSE Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design – is turning three years old. For its anniversary, it has set up a gallery with collages depicting future images of Moscow. Before the close of this year, the Moscow-2050 project goes toShenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in China.

Belgian Student Combines Urban Planning and Slavic Studies at HSE University

Charlotte Rottiers is a master’s exchange student from Ghent University (Belgium). This semester she is taking courses at HSE University on urban planning in the ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ Master’s Programme as well as courses on Russian language and culture in the Faculty of Humanities. HSE News Service spoke with Charlotte about her courses, living in Moscow, and her extensive weekend travels.

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.

13 Buildings, 3 Atriums, 78,000 Square Meters: HSE’s New Complex at Pokrovka Awaits

On July 25, upon the approval of the Moscow City Construction Supervision and the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow, HSE University’s new Pokrovka complex opened its doors. The complex, located at 11 Pokrovsky Boulevard, is HSE’s largest and most modern Moscow campus. Classes will begin there in September.