On May 18-19, the city of Kaliningrad, capital of the westernmost part of Russia, will host the Living Environment: All About Housing Forum. The Forum includes a business program and the Urban Weekend outdoor public festival.
Besides sessions and roundtables, the ambitious program of the event includes the shortlist presentation of the projects submitted for the Open International Competition of Architectural Concepts for Standard Housing and Residential Buildings. Architects and bureaus from 39 countries took part in this prestigious competition with their projects of innovative residential housing for future generations of Russians. The competition announces a remarkable prize fund: 20 finalists will receive 1 million roubles (about € 13 300) each, up to five winning projects will be awarded 2 million roubles (about € 26 600) each, and up to five runners-up will receive 1.5 million roubles (about € 19 900) each.
The experts and guests of the Forum will explore the current trends of housing stock development in the Russian context. The business program will bring together an audience of more than 700 authorities worldwide: developers, architects, economists, as well as experts in urban planning. Among reputed speakers are Winy Maas, co-founder and director of an architecture and urbanism enterprise MVRDV from Netherlands, former deputy mayor of Barcelona Antoni Vives, Russian political columnist and influencer Ekaterina Shulman, UN advisor and British ecological urbanist Brian Mark Evans, economist and real estate consultant Elliot Eisenberg, and Jeffrey Morgan, senior development consultant at MBL Housing, USA. These and many other renowned experts will try to answer the most crucial questions:
- What defines modern, quality, safe and affordable housing?
- What should be done to ensure a sustainable innovative urban planning?
- In which houses do citizens really want to live? What are the needs of residents in the new knowledge-driven economy?
- How will the living environment of Russian cities look in the future?
All across the world, people are concentrating in cities, and Russia makes no exception: about 50% of the country’s GDP comes from the economies of agglomerations. That said, standard residential buildings in Russia make up 77% of the built-up environment, while panel and block apartment houses account for 46%. As many as every second resident lives in an apartment that was constructed 50 years ago. Only 5% of Russian homes are compliant with OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and UN-Habitat recommendations. According to a recent poll, 45% of Russians would like to improve the quality of their housing. In this country, the global trend of urbanization represents a complex and urgent challenge, and participants of the Forum will discuss urban planning with regard to Russia’s unique history and development’s flaws and features.
Affordable housing is a key factor in the economic sustainability of a neighborhood. The regeneration of neighborhoods and their business districts creates positive conditions for community life, including improved access to goods and services, greater social connectivity, and improved property values. I look forward to sharing my perspective on these issues and learning how the people of Russia view these issues, — says Jeffrey Morgan.
The Living Environment: All About Housing Forum is organized by the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of Russia, DOM.RF, Russian Housing and Urban Development Corporation and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.
Urban Weekend highlights urban issues through a festival programme which takes place during the days of the Forum. A street-food market with over 20 participants from the country’s different regions (Kaliningrad, Kazan, Vladivostok) tours off the beaten track in Kaliningrad guided by the residents themselves, and more than 15 other activities for children and adults are part of a special programme of events aimed at opening up the potential of the region and the city in a new way for their inhabitants and engage the public in a larger conversation about living environments.
It should be noted that the location of the third Living Environment: All About Housing Forum is not just any city. Kaliningrad, formerly known as Königsberg, is a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania. Due to its challenging location and therefore rich history, Kaliningrad region stands out among other Russian cities and boasts its truly distinguishable architecture and even mentality.
TitleLiving Environment: All About Housing Forum
FromMay 18, 2018 10:00 AM
UntilMay 19, 2018 05:00 PM
VenueKaliningrad Drama Theatre