It is obvious that some directions of urban development become unprofitable and even harmful. This leads to the situation when citizens don't get those amenities from the city which they are entitled to. That's why we need to define certain urban development vectors. Researching spatial development strategy helps define the priorities, according to different factors. Take, for instance, Akademicheskyi district, which is now actively developing, but doesn't have any sustainable transport system, which leads to negative factors and causes misunderstanding from the public. All these things should be balanced. If the city makes a decision to develop certain areas, it has to be supported by certain plans. Rather on the contrary. The city's plans in their infrastructural development should be the basis for developers' actions.
But if there is a strategical development plan for Yekaterinburg, then it can be simply updated?
That's right. Over the past few years, Yekaterinburg has been developing quite successfully. Our city has really achieved some good results in comparison with other cities with population over one million people. But any strategy defines the vision from the viewpoint of a certain time period. When this period is over, one can analyze which goals have been achieved, which directions have developed despite this strategy or in slight inconsistency with it. Early this year, Aleksandr Yakob, the head of city administration, signed an act on updating the strategy for social and economic development, and simultaneously on designing a spatial development strategy, because the existing strategy does not include any directions such as spatial urban development. We all understand that we can monitor different indicators, but what a citizen physically faces directly is the urban space. All strategic directions in the field of transport, ecology, science and education, culture and business, healthcare should contain a spatial ingredient. That's why now, on the one hand, we are compensating the missing part of this plan and, on the other hand, trying to look at all the strategical directions and projects through the prism of spatial urban development.
Do other Russian cities already have such strategies? Have they been accepted? Or are they in progress?
Russian cities see active work done on developing strategies of both social and economic, and spatial development. But, as far as I know, there are no accomplishments and finalized results yet.
So, we'll be the first ones?
Perm has had experience with masterplan creation. But it was earlier and looked a little different. At some moment, the city really had a finished masterplan, which actually represented a strategy for spatial development. One of its problems was the fact that the strategy, formulated as a masterplan, had little correlation with the strategy of social and economic development. The success of spatial development depends on several factors, on the consistency of documents, on achieving general understanding and agreement in society regarding urban development direction. Because a strategy is a document of public consent, where business, authorities and society has reach agreement in their general understanding of the city's development. It is crucial for the values of the strategy to become personal values for all the participants of the process.