Moscow Urban Forum 2016 will bring together guests from 50 countries


Moscow Urban Forum starts on June 30. It will bring together not only the guests from Moscow and regions of Russia, but participants from 50 countries, said the Head of the Moscow department of urban planning policy, Sergey Levkin in his interview with RIA Novosti.

We are looking forward to the Moscow Urban Forum, which will be devoted to “Fast-growing mega-cities: technologies of dynamic development”. What guests will arrive in the capital to discuss this topic?

This is the sixth Urban Forum. It will last four days. The business program will be very dynamic – in previous years we were focusing on panel discussions, now the priority is given to brainstorming format.

We want to give the event a city scale. Therefore, the festival program will be held not only in “Manege”, but also on the various outdoor areas – streets, squares and parks. The best Russian and international urbanists will present their master classes and lectures in the framework of the festival.

There will be a star-studded team of participants. Mayors of Zagreb, Tirana, Budapest, and Oslo are invited; we are awaiting delegations of architects, urbanists, and heads of multinational corporations from Berlin, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, and Bangkok. The invitations were sent to more than 50 countries. To date, 60% of the total number of guests has confirmed their participation. Many participants have already responded.

Our dialogue partners – Beijing, Singapore, Paris, Milan, New Delhi, Sao Paulo and other cities are willing to openly discuss how to make more comfortable for living conditions in megacities.

What projects will represent Moscow at the forum?

First of all, it is international project – “Big Moscow”. Recently, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin visited Paris (his visit took place within the framework of the Days of Moscow in France – Ed.), which implement a similar project. The work on the project “Big Moscow” is ongoing, and our French partners are just launching their project, so at the end of the meeting they expressed a desire to visit Moscow to study its experience.

But don’t want only to show off our mega-projects, including the “ZIL” “Zaryadye” park, MKZHD light railway system, “My Street” project, VDNKH, we are eager to learn from foreign urbanists from other major cities about their development and future.

Will any research results be presented at the forum?

Results of seven studies made by PwC, Tom-Tom, ISOCARP, AB “Strelka”, “Skolkovo” and others will be presented at the Forum. For example, PwC compares Moscow with 12 cities of the world on key indicators of urban development during one year; they estimate the development occurred in the course of the year. This study aims not to rate the cities, but to show the dynamics of their development. When you see the results, you begin to wonder why they have got certain kind of changes, and we have got another? You start to analyze, compare and understand what we can learn from colleagues and try to implement in Moscow.

Dynamic development of the city is impossible without lowering administrative barriers in construction. What are the achievements of Moscow in this respect?

To date, state services are fully regulated, administrative regulations are approved, they contain terms and cost of certain services, as well as a list of required documents and grounds for refusal in receipt of a service.

Moscow is the first Russian city, which has transferred key state services related to construction sector to electronic format, the whole set is now provided online – from application to the result of service. The issue of administrative barriers is not as acute for developers as it was 5-6 years ago.

What will be the next steps in this direction?

Now the Government of Moscow regulates the work of non-state companies. During the construction process – starting with registration of the land and up to commissioning of a building – about 60-70% of procedures concern technological connection to  utility networks. These services are provided by commercial grid companies such as MUEGC (Moscow United Power Grid Company) and others.

To date, Moscow has managed to solve a number of problems with the grid companies that belong to the city – UEC (United Energy Company) and Mosvodokanal (Moscow Water and Sewage Company). It is now possible to submit online an application for a contract, and to obtain a contract for technological connection.
Most recently, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov held a meeting on optimizing administrative procedures. He set a task of adjusting mechanism of interdepartmental interaction in Moscow and Saint Petersburg – he ordered to regulate procedures, transfer them to e-format and minimize the list of obligatory documents from developers. The task was set before The Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Communications in cooperation with the governments of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

When are you planning to finish this work?

It’s hard to say, we hope to see results next year, and even this year.

How many applications do you receive in electronic format?

If in 2013 we started with 12%, now we have more than 85% of such applications, if we consider the period from the beginning of the year. That means most of developers have assessed the advantages of the current system.

Our recent initiative aimed at helping developers to quickly receive comprehensive information about all steps of implementation of a construction project in Moscow, is called “Calculator of procedures”. We are planning the first presentation of the new service on the Moscow Urban Forum, on June 30 at the stand “Building Is Simple”. Developers will be able to get acquainted with the Calculator in a test mode. And in July, we hope it will start to work at full capacity in “Personal account of developer” for all registered users.

Personal account of developer is an independent subsystem of one of the largest information systems of Construction complex. It gives access to full information on the facilities of the builder, including permits and penalties, protocols of Urban Planning and Land commission (GZK), search tools for lists of urban planning documents.

RIA Novosti