For the last eight years, Moscow has hosted the Moscow Urban Forum, a yearly gathering for experts to reunite to discuss pressing issues of today’s metropolises. Some of the most renowned architects and urbanists, city mayors, government officials, economists, developers, academics, citizens and professionals from diverse fields and nationalities come together in the iconic Russian city and its important venues like Menage or VDNKh. But it was the presence of two of the world’s most influential men in their respective areas of influence which marked the importance of this year Moscow Urban Forum: Rem Koolhaas and Vladimir Putin.
At the Moscow Urban Forum, Rem Koolhaas spoke to Vladimir Pozner about his life and work, including how he has been influenced by Russian architecture. The pair discuss how the city of Moscow has evolved and the role that it currently has in the world. The event was originally streamed live on YouTube, meaning you can watch the recording of the discussion above.
As part of the series of new urban developments sprawling up in Moscow, Zaryadye Park is the latest to open this month in a bid to improve the city’s green space. Commissioned by Moscow Chief Architect, Sergey Kuznetsov, an international consortium led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Hargreaves Associates and Citymakers has designed this new public space that encourages integration and celebrates the amplitude of regions across Russia by artificially emulating each of their climates: the steppe, the forest, the wetlands and the tundra.
When it comes to urbanism these days, people’s attention is increasingly turning to Moscow. The city clearly intends to become one of the world’s leading megacities in the near future and is employing all necessary means to achieve its goal, with the city government showing itself to be very willing to invest in important urban developments (though not without some criticism).
A key player in this plan has been the Moscow Urban Forum. Although the forum’s stated goal is to find adequate designs for future megacities, a major positive side-effect is that it enables the city to organize the best competitions, select the best designers, and build the best urban spaces to promote the city of Moscow. The Forum also publishes research and academic documents to inform Moscow’s future endeavors; for example, Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication inspired by the 2013 forum and released in 2014, notably influenced the urban development on the outskirts of Moscow, but also highlighted the importance of combining urban development with the existing landscape.
At the recently concluded Moscow Urban Forum, Renier de Graaf shared his opinion on a range of topics, from UK’s Brexit and the EU identity to OMA’s work in Russia, particularly in shaping the recent growth of Moscow. De Graaf is a partner at OMA and as director of the firm’s Think Tank, AMO, he produced The Image of Europe, an exhibition hoping to portray a “bold, explicit and popular” European Union. Thus, it comes as no surprise that De Graaf, along with Rem Koolhaas, is particularly outspoken about the recent events within the European Union.
Last month, the eleventh edition of the Moscow Urban Forum released the topic of the 2016 forum: "Fast-Growing Megacities: Technologies for Dynamic Development." The forum will seek to answer the following questions: Why is it so important to discuss growth and development of megacities at this time? What are the rules that determine their existence? With three days to go, organizers have announced this year’s program.
Since its first version in 2011, the Moscow Urban Forum has become an important international platform devoted to the development of megacities, and improvement of the quality of life of urban residents in the world, Moscow and Russia. Over the years, it has developed into a major international project that brings together the people who come up with ideas to improve the quality of urban space, and the people who implement these ideas: mayors, politicians, urbanists, and architects from all over the world.
The topic of the 2016 Forum is "Fast-Growing Megacities: Technologies for Dynamic Development." Why is it so important to discuss growth and development of megacities at this time? What are the rules that determine their existence?
At last year's Moscow Urban Forum, Charles Renfro discussed Diller Scofidio + Renfro's design for Zaryadye Park in Moscow. Located in the heart of the city, the park employs Wild Urbanist principles, which seek to emulate Russia's diverse landscapes – tundra, steppe, forest, and wetland – against a backdrop of architectural landmarks that includes the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
"The Age of Megacities: Exploring Global, National and Local Priorities" is the name of the Moscow Urban Forum 2016 which will be held on June 30 – July 03, 2016 in Manege Central Exhibition Hall. It is a leading international event devoted to development of megacities, improvement of the quality of life of urban residents in the world, Russia and Moscow.
During the 2015 Moscow Urban Forum, city experts from different regions and countries united to exchange practices, projects, and trends. The event fueled discussion on the city of Moscow, which is currently working on its expansion plans, new transport infrastructure, and a series of urban initiatives that are having a positive impact on the quality of life in the city.
The annual Moscow Urban Forum is right around the corner. To be held from October 16-17, the theme of this year’s forum is “Moscow as a Dynamic Megacity: Flexible Management Practices.” The forum will feature two days of conferences, exhibitions and lectures with a focus on issues surrounding the development of Moscow. While in past years the conference focused on issues related to megacities in general, this year for the first time the forum will just focus on the capital city.
“The international political situation influenced the key aspects of the country’s life, bringing internal goals and tasks to the foreground. That is why we have decided to concentrate only on the Moscow agenda this year, and to dedicate the Forum to the presentation and discussion of projects related to the capital, a search for new Moscow development centres, outlining the problems and challenges faced by the megacity during the crisis, a search for the most optimal and effective solutions for further successful development of the city,” said Marat Khusnullin, the Moscow Deputy Mayor for Urban Development and Construction and the head of the Moscow Urban Forum executive committee.
With more than half of the world’s population living in cities today, a process that will only accelerate in the near future, the dynamics of large metropolitan areas --especially in the emerging world have-- have become an object of study and urban experimentation. India is one of the regions where this process is happening at a fast pace. With a current urbanization rate of 32%, it is expected to grow up to 40% in the next 15 years.
The IV annual Moscow Urban Forum is quickly approaching. To be held from December 11-14, the forum is an international conference on city planning, urban development and related subjects. With the overarching theme of “Drivers of City Development,” this year’s forum will feature talks by Uma Adusumilli, Pablo Allard, Dan Hill, Sergei Kapkov, Maksim Liksutov, Antanas Mockus and Hui Wang, among many others.
The Forum will look at infrastructure, economy, social development and culture as the main drivers of city development, with day one starting by discussing the global development of megacities as well as the agenda for Russian city development. Day two will focus specifically on Moscow’s city agenda, while days three and four will feature the Forum speakers as well as special events for urban communities.
In Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication emerging out of the Moscow Urban Forum, a variety of specialists tackle the issue of a strategy for the development of Moscow's metropolitan area. As one of the best examples of urban concentric development, teams of engineers, architects, planners, economists and sociologists, studied the Russian metropolis with a pointed focus on the periphery—specifically the territory between the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road. Using an "archaeological" approach, the study reveals entrenched and hidden planning structures in order to increase the awareness and attractiveness of the periphery. Archaeology of the Periphery argues that examination of the city's fringe requires different methods of analysis than would be applied to traditional city centers.
"As the centre sets a certain quality of life and serves as a benchmark for the entire city, the high "gravitation" of the centre makes the signs of urban life invisible on the outskirts. Different optics are required in order to work with the non-central urban space. The tactic of "taking out" the centre and "sharpening the focus" on the peripheral territory will reveal what has been obscured and help identify the processes that take place, study potential, support or control the current forces at play.
The term "periphery," which is based on the opposition to a semantic centre is used in a wide range of scientific fields. The myriad of approaches underlines the ambiguity of the phenomenon and at the same time provides a base for an multidisciplinary research. This research was performed by experts in sociology (S), politics (P), architecture and urban planning (A), culture (C), economics (E) and big data (D). Methodology — SPACED — allows a broader view of the actual and potential intersections, going."
Last month we had the chance to attend to the III Moscow Urban Forum, an instance where urbanists, architects, city mayors, the real estate industry and the citizens of Moscow had an open dialogue related to the future of the city under the theme “Megacities: Success Beyond the Centre”. The forum was organized by the Government of Moscow, who invited global urban planning gurus with experience in developing suburbs, to discuss how to resolve the problems of deprived outskirts, how to transform “dead” zones in towns into socially beneficial areas for work and leisure, how make a city environmentally sound and comfortable for living at a low cost, and how to create a transport system that is convenient for its citizens.
Moscow Urban Forum is an international conference on city planning, urban development and related subjects. The Forum has been held annually in Moscow since 2011 with the support of the Moscow Government, and with the Urban Land Institute as international partner. Moscow Urban Forum is a platform for an exchange of ideas where the heads of the largest cities in Russia and the world have an opportunity to discuss topics and projects of concern with the representatives of the international expert community.