Saturday, April 16, 2016

Moscow Urban Forum: Cities and Territories of Tomorrow, Rostov-on-Don, March 30, 2016

The Moscow Urban Forum events are extremely well organized, and documented. I was told after my presentation that it will soon be on-line. (I wish I had been told this before I spoke!)
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in the 3rd series of Urban Conferences held around Russia, organized by the Moscow Urban Forum,  organized in part by Strelka,
As you will see from the on-line program, I was invited to participate on three panels which looked at how Rostov might benefit from being one of the hosts for FIFA 2018, being held in a number of major Russian cities.
While I don't speak Russian, I was provided with simultaneous translation throughout the event, and so were those delegates who didn't speak English, but still wanted to listen to me!
The delegates were particularly interested in the lessons Vancouver learned following EXPO 86 and the 2010 Olympics. I might add that Vancouver is highly regarded by many Russians who are knowledgeable about urban planning.

Now I know what you are thinking. Of all the people in Vancouver, why would I be invited all the way to Rostov to talk about Vancouver's experiences!

My involvement with Strelka and the Moscow Urban Forum dates back a couple of years when I was invited to be a judge for the Moscow International Financial Centre competition. 
Since then, I have participated as a judge for a competition in Kazan, and spoken at the Moscow Urban Forum event St. Petersburg last fall.

I summarized some of my experiences during these trips and other earlier visits to Russia in a February 2016 talk at SFU titled

At the conference I met Alexei Polyansky, Chief Architect and Deputy Minister of Construction, Architecture and Territorial Development of Rostov Region and his brilliant son, who both informed and entertained me during my stay.
The School of Architecture was housed in a renovated building, and very attractive space

The two young ladies chatting to one another in the front row, invited me to tour the city and region following my talk. Thanks Raisa and Victoria!
In addition to speaking at the forum, I was also invited to speak to the student body at the Southern Federation School of Architecture, the major school of architecture in southern Russia. I spoke about sustainable development and Vancouver's efforts to become the Greenest City in the World. It was a most gratifying experience since many students told me this was the first time they had been introduced to most of the ideas I presented.
Thanks Elena Kavkazova and everyone else who made my trip to Rostov-on-Don so special