The Moscow Urban Forum 2015 has opened in Moscow The Moscow Urban Forum 2015 has opened in Moscow

The Moscow Urban Forum 2015 opened at 9 am on 16 October 2015 at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall.


The Forum is being held under the auspices of the Government of Moscow with Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin present in person. The Forum is organised by ANO Moscow Urban Forum.


The Moscow Urban Forum was held for the first time in 2011. The Forum was planned to be a venue for dialogue, where the authorities, experts, investors, and business representatives could openly discuss new challenges, trends, and key events of national and global urbanism and city planning.


Over the years, the Forum has become a reference point for new projects and initiatives of the Moscow Government directed to all-round development of the megacity, stimulating quality changes in our capital city and spreading the best practices across the country and globally. More than 10 urbanism projects implemented in Moscow were first presented at the Moscow Urban Forum.


This year, the Forum is focusing on the Moscow agenda; the main topic is "Moscow as a Fast-Paced Megacity: Flexible Management Practices".


As part of plenary sessions, 11 expert sessions, presentations of cases, and the best Moscow projects and the challenges which the megacity faces during the crisis will be marked; discussions will be held to find tailored solutions for the city and optimal and effective solutions for further successful development of Moscow.


The business programme of the Forum will begin with a plenary session titled "Moscow on the World Stage: Goals and Priorities", where Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin will give an account of his office's urban development accomplishments over the last five years. How has Moscow grown during this time? What have we accomplished, and what lies ahead? What aspects of urban development should be the focus in the short and long term? The mayor will address the participants of the plenary session on the issue of how much implementation of strategically important municipal programmes has affected Moscow's involvement in the global situation. The session participants include the foreign experts Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of Barcelona from 2011 to 2015, and Pierfrancesco Maran, Deputy Mayor of Milan for Mobility, Environment, Subways, Public Water & Energy.


Today Moscow has an opportunity to create a new, polycentric structure and overcome the problems that have accumulated over many years, such as an overloaded city centre and unbalanced development. However, such reconstruction of urban territories involves a serious planning burden. The ways of addressing the contradictions in urban development and taking into account the interests of citizens will be addressed during the panel discussion "Drivers of a Polycentric City Model" by Russian and international experts, including Marat Khusnullin, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Urban Policy and Construction, Lawrence Barth, Professor of Urbanism at Architectural Association School in London, and others.


The changes in the structure of the city inevitably lead to a change in its transport system and transport behaviour of its citizens. In recent years, Moscow has actively implemented various methods of regulating the demand for personal and public transport. How effective these solutions are and what impact they have on the transport behaviour of Muscovites will be discussed at the round table Changing Patterns of Transport Behaviour in a Modern Megacity with Maxim Liksutov, Head of the Department of Transportation and Development of Road Transport Infrastructure of Moscow, Pierfrancesco Maran, Milan's Deputy Mayor for Transport and Environment, Mikhail Blinkin, Head of the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies of the Higher School of Economics National Research University, Andrey Gnezdilov, Ostozhenka Architectural Bureau, and other experts. The session will also include a presentation of research on existing transport infrastructure prepared by representatives of the International Public Transport Association.


It is well known that the level of happiness felt by city residents depends on their satisfaction with the city they live in. But what are the criteria to assess the comfort of travel around the city and what are the unique characteristics of Moscow's streets? Who should be given priority in the process of transformation: pedestrians, motorists, or passengers on public transport? The panellists of the session "The Street: A Transit Zone or a Social Space?" will discuss the results and future vectors of development for the programme "My Street," the largest project of urban improvement in the history of Moscow. Petr Biryukov, Deputy Mayor of the Moscow Government for Housing and Utility Services and Urban Development, will speak on the project's accomplishments and difficulties, and Yury Grigoryan, Head of Meganom Bureau (which won the tender for best project on reconstruction of the Moscow River area), will present the concept of the river as the city's main street.


The Internet resources created for ensuring the communication between the citizens and city authorities are becoming an increasingly popular channel for studying the behaviour of citizens. Never before did the proposals of Muscovites so quickly reach the necessary level of city authorities and were implemented so quickly. The challenges faced by the city authorities in creating the online resources for citizens to engage them in the process of city governance will be the focus of the panel discussion "City in the Internet Environment: Life Online and Offline" with the participation of Anastasiya Rakova, Chief of Staff of the Mayor and Moscow Government, и Lev Manovich, Professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, Head of the Lab at University of California Los Angeles (USA). The session will be moderated by Chris Moore, founding member of the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO), former chief information officer of the City of Edmonton.


The participants in the panel discussion "Developing the Industrial and Investment Potential of Moscow" will try to address the issue of selecting the best scenario for the development of industrial zones in Moscow, unleashing the potential of industrial zones and attracting investment in them. The discussion will be attended by Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of the Government of Moscow and Head of Department of Economic Policy and Development, and Oleg Bocharov, Head of Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship of Moscow.


During the panel discussion "Housing Policy Priorities in Moscow", Sergey Levkin, Head of the Urban Planning Policy Department of Moscow, together with Sergey Kuznetzov, Chief Architect of Moscow, Tatyana Polidi, Executive Director of the Foundation "The Institute for Urban Economics," and Alexander Plutnik, Director of the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, and other experts, will consider the question: What type of housing does Moscow need?


In other five panel discussions, the participants will consider such issues as building the cultural and event infrastructure in Moscow, developing New Moscow, looking for effective solutions in the city's health care system, and much more.


The business programme of the Forum will end with the plenary session "Moscow: Guidelines for Development and Risk Management", in which the Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin together with Andrey Sharonov, Rector of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Alexey Shaposhnikov, Chairman of the Moscow City Duma, Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the National Research University "Higher School of Economics," Alexey Novikov, Dean of the Graduate School of Urban Studies of the Higher School of Economics, Professor, Programme Director of the Moscow Urban Forum 2015, Grigory Revzin, Partner at KB Strelka, Professor of the Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning of the Higher School of Economics, Head of the Study "Dream about New Moscow," Mikhail Oseyevsky, Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, as well as other participants in the session will discuss the spatial, economic, infrastructural, social, and cultural milestones in the development of Moscow by taking into account the discussions held in the Forum.


The plenary sessions and meetings held as part of the business programme of the Forum will be broadcast online at on 16 October.