Architects shared their impressions of the public discussions

Resource: The complex of urban policy and construction of Moscow.

Discussions of the projects that made it to the finals of the Neighborhood Renovation Program were an unprecedented experience for the capital city.

On January 17, the architects-competitors told "VM" what conclusion they drew from their conversations with residents.

Public hearings have long been a common tool for taking public opinion into account. For architects, participation in them is also not new. However, public discussion is another format aimed at studying the position of citizens, which subsequently will affect the results of the competition.

- We should not hide the fact that the format of public discussions was unexpected, - shares her impressions Yulia Zubarik, the founder of the architectural bureau Master's Plan, which worked on the project of the quarter in Prospekt Vernadskogo. - Initially, only a professional jury was supposed to judge the contest.

However, Yulia Zubarik notes that this format of discussion helped to better understand the aspirations of residents.

- For example, we found out that despite the reserve of polyclinics places provided for in the terms of reference, the residents complain about the lack of polyclinics. We were able to change our concept slightly by placing an additional medical facility in the project," the architect explained.

It's no secret that pensioners take the most active part in public hearings. They have more free time, and they know more about the problems of the district, than the young people who are lost at work all day. In case of public discussion of competitive projects architects note an increased interest of the young population.

- Young people's participation is important, as renovation program is very long term, and it is necessary that young generation shares the decisions taken", - thinks the head of "Spectrum" architectural bureau Evgeniya Mavrina.

"Spectrum developed the concept of the quarter together with the French bureau AREP.

Discussions, according to Mavrina, showed that Muscovites are still wary of the block development in a format of urban blocks and closed courtyards, which is actively used in European countries.

- Therefore, the main conclusion may be more attention to local preferences, although the view and approach of foreign specialists can significantly enrich the Russian practice of integrated development of territories, - said Evgenia Mavrina.

Despite different conclusions, all architects agreed in one opinion - it is impossible to develop a project within such a large-scale program without consulting the direct participants of the renovation.

- A project should be based on the results of a survey of the people living on a specific territory, as it is they who will be the main users of the new infrastructure and will have to live in the new conditions," said Denis Kapralov, the head of the architectural studio "A-Project.K".

The consultants of the exhibition note that the Muscovites who came to the discussions could talk directly to the architects.

- The most important thing - people understood that they will not be moved out of their own neighborhoods. This was the main reason for concern," said Sergey Sergeev, the consultant of the exhibition of competitive projects. - Over time, working at the exhibition, I noticed that citizens ask such a question less and less often.

As for the residents, those who were skeptical about the idea of redeveloping the neighborhood were impressed after the presentations.

- The city lacks all those ideas with green roofs, green bridges, gardens," said Elena Gulyaeva, a Muscovite.

Over six thousand questionnaires filled out by residents during discussions and visits to the exhibition will be submitted to the jury. Having carefully studied them, the experts will pass a verdict and in late January or early February, they will name the best project.


Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow:

- According to the preliminary results of the competition of neighbourhood planning projects under the renovation programme, we received interesting works on five pilot districts, which are a prime example of five-storey development. After that, we collected feedback from the residents in discussions with the general public. Unlike standard public hearings, which are usually accompanied by a noisy meeting with little constructive sound, in our case everything was quiet. People came with specific wishes for their neighborhoods. It is very important to create a sense of common cause and involvement. The results of the competition will be announced by the jury of experts at the end of January.