Moscow Urban Forum Festival 2015 involves thousands of Muscovites Moscow Urban Forum Festival 2015 involves thousands of Muscovites

Moscow Urban Forum Festival 2015 was held on 17 October at Manezh Central Exhibition Hall for the third time. Over 5,000 people visited the Festival.


The Festival is a logical continuation of the Moscow Forum's business programme and open venue for meetings, discussions and exchange of views between experts, residents of the capital and city activists on topical issues of urbanism.


Throughout the day guests of Moscow Urban Forum Festival 2015 were offered more than a dozen exhibition areas, more than 10 workshops, 4 interactive installations and interesting discussions involving experts in urban development in the format of Urban Talks, at which three research studies were presented.


Guests of the Festival Day started with physical training provided by the #SEKTA perfect body school and children listened to tales narrated by famous theatre and cinema artists as part of the Detskoye Chteniye (Children Reading) project.


As a part of the educational programme, lectures were held with leading foreign urbanists Vicente Guaita (Spain), Lev Manovich (USA) and Anthony Flanaghan (USA), drawing a wide audience. For the first time as part of the Forum the lecture "Multilevel Cities: City Life and Value in an Innovative Economy" was presented by Lawrence Barth, Professor of Urbanism at the Graduate School of the Architectural Association in London (UK). According to Professor Barth, public areas in the centre of modern cities are transforming and become more open and more accessible. Such transformation requires an innovative approach from investors and developers.


Festival participants – experts in urbanism and specialists in urban development – were able to continue discussions that commenced on 16 October as part of the Urban Talks project.


At the presentation of the research project "Dimensional-economic Development of Cities. Hidden Development Resources", conducted by the Skolkovo Centre of Municipal Research for the 2nd series of urban conferences "Cities and Territories of Tomorrow....", its authors noted that the main point of growth for big cities may be a more efficient use of land and space. Change of land lease rates, redevelopment of existing development and development intensification allow an increase of the city's income and decrease dependence of the regions on transfers from the federal budget.


The talk on resources for urban environment development was conducted as part of discussion of the "Mechanics of Moscow" study, held by the Moscow Institute of Social and Cultural Programmes. The study's authors, based on analysis of statistical data, have divided the regions of Moscow into nine types of urban environment (for example, "Comfortable Moscow", "Family Territories", "Periphery" etc.) and designated regions, the residents of which are potentially ready for changes. Panellists discussed the results and methods allowing to assess intracity territorial differences and options for their development. According to the discussion moderator, Operations Director of the Graduate School of Urban Studies, Programme Curator of Moscow Urban Forum 2015 Vera Leonova, MISCP research has confirmed that a New Moscow is another region of the city, fundamentally different from all the others.


The modern state and prospects of New Moscow were also discussed at the session "How to Build the New Moscow", prepared based on the results of research conducted by Strelka CB. The research curator was Grigory Revzin, partner of CB Strelka and professor of the Graduate School of Urban Studies of the Higher School of Economics.


The best start-up projects were presented as part of the PECHAKUCHA MOSCOW Urban Entrepreneurs project. Participants had to deliver their projects, talk about their path to success and answer all the questions asked by other Festival participants within a strictly limited period of time.


The Yard Workshop operated in Hall D of the Open Pavilion throughout the day, presenting workshops on manufacturing street furniture, seedling cages, signboards and other useful, everyday items. It is also here where workshops on independent leaflet printing took place at the Samizdat Workshop. Potential authors of urban projects were able to receive consultation from specialists in PR, fund raising and local government.


Representatives of various urban initiatives had a chance to speak in front of a wide audience, talk about their projects and find co-thinkers at the Festival's self-presentation venue Open Microphone.


The People's Museum exhibition, dedicated to improving the living environment of more remote Moscow areas, as well as the Field Architecture architectural activism exhibition, where residents presented the best every-day city development practices, were held as part of the festival programme.


A performance by the TATYANA vocal-instrumental ensemble concluded the Festival programme of Moscow Urban Forum 2015.


Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning under the Higher School of Economics, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Public Space urban communications agency and the team of Delai Sam (Do It Yourself) urban action marathon act as supervisors of the 2015 Festival.


The Afisha magazine and the Moskva-24 TV channel are general partners of the open Festival Day of the Forum. The general radio broadcasting partner of the Festival is the radio station Mayak. MosLenta and the portal Zeleny Gorod were information partners.