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Costing less than glitzier parks in Moscow, the Tatarstan initiative is revivifying the local design and manufacturing bases with a "teach a man to fish" approach. In places without an established design force, there have historically been two opposing approaches at play: hire experts from abroad or nurture a local design community, a la “give a man a fish or teach him how to fish.” In the Russian republic of Tatarstan, located at the intersection between Europe and Asia, a recent Public Spaces Development Program has created over 350 parks in five years—by choosing the latter approach. The program, which is one of six recipients of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, is led by 29-year old Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova, whose experience as an advisor in Moscow’s Gorky Park rehabilitation caught the attention of the President of Tatarstan in 2015. Almost five years later, the program has set a new standard for design processes in the country with its endeavor to involve not only local architects but also the local community. View more View full description
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