Address: 13, bld 4 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow 101000,
Phone: +7 (495) 772-95-90 ext. 12-604, 12-605,
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The majority of cities all over the World have their symbolic capital concentrated in the central areas. Distant residential areas lack tourist attractiveness, original / authentic urban environments and any material / immaterial basics of local identities. People are not rooted in the urban districts they live in and feel Alien in them. There is no uniqueness in those residential areas (as seen by the residents), and there is no research or practical methodology to single out those unique features of a place and promote them as potential local brands.
In this paper I use the notion of place and a model of ‘place as palimpsest’ as emerging in cultural geography in order to discuss the possibilities of symbolic construction of new places and stimulation of local identities within currently ‘placeless’ distant residential areas of Moscow, Russia under the conditions of ‘post-urbanity’.
I thus aim to elaborate a methodology of picking up the unique features of distant urban residential areas regarded as place branding identifiers on the basis of the potential of the theory of regional geography and cultural geography combined together.
The development of cultural geography from the classical theories of the beginning of the XXth century (Sauer, 1925) to the second half of the XXth century was contradictory, yet important. The cultural turn has become a main trend of that change while the representatives of the new cultural geography criticized the Sauerian Berkeley school for focusing “their studies on the material artifacts, exhibiting a curious and thoroughly antiquarian ‘object fetishism’ over such items as houses, barns, fences and gasoline stations” (Price, Lewis, 1993, p. 3). Instead, they regard the cultural landscape through its human interpretation, symbolization and signification (Rowntree, Conkey, 1980). They stated that “the total cultural landscape is information stored in symbolic form” that “in part functions as a narrative” (Ibid., p. 461), and “the symbolic qualities of landscape, those which produce and sustain social meaning, have become a focus of research” as this “allows us to disclose the meanings that human groups attach to areas and places and to relate those meanings to other aspects and conditions of human existence” (Cosgrove, Jackson, 1987, p. 96).
That was the point when ‘place’ as a word turned into a scientific term: the place as being constructed by people through the process of signification. It was developed due to the cultural turn within new cultural / humanistic geography. “Space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning”, Yi-Fu Tuan (1977 , p. 136) states. Dennis Jeans found the exact words for that constructing perspective: “To make a place is to surround a locality with human meanings” (Jeans, 1979, p. 209).
That is how the place becomes a kind of a palimpsest: a “fuzzy set” of diverse interpretations of one and the same landscape, not only historically different elements, but also emerging from various ethnic, cultural, social groups in the process of mythological and semiotic communications (Mitin, 2010). Each layer of that palimpsest is in fact a vision of a place, a story told, a myth, a geographical description, that is, a narrative.
In order to study this process of symbolic construction of those layers / narratives I use the theory of regional geography. Different modes of regional geographical descriptions have been described throughout the XXth century (Darby, 1962, Davis, 1915, Hart, 1982, Paterson, 1974). Being opposed by the positivist view of storing the entire data on any place in a form of encyclopedic classification, the idea of a good description as a geographer’s art of constructing a place is as follows: “Good regional geography should begin with, and probably should be organized around, the dominant theme of each region, which of course will vary from region to region. <…> Features that are overwhelmingly important in one region may be completely missing in another, and the regional geographer should give pride of place in each region to its most important or significant features” (Hart, 1982, p. 23).
Combining (a) the idea of the cultural landscape as being constructed through symbolic values, and (b) the theory of regional geographical descriptions altogether form a model of place as palimpsest as being created and re-created. However, it is to a much extent settled within a representational paradigm of geography, disputed by critical urban / cultural geographers through the calls for rematerializing the discipline (Lees, 2002). In Lefebvrian terms, cultural geography in the XXth century has executed a shift from the material / perceived space towards the conceptual space of representations, but the forthcoming critical paradigm is concerned about the third realm, that is the “representational spaces: the space directly lived through its associate images and symbols, and hence the space of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’” (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 39), ‘thirdspace’, ‘real-and-imagined’ space (Soja, 1996). Lefebvre moves forward describing what kind of space it is. It is the product of the urban revolution, the totally urbanized space “constituted by a renewed space-time, a topology that is distinct from agrarian (cyclic and juxtaposing local particularities) and industrial (tending towards homogeneity, toward a rational and planned unity of constraints) space-time. Urban space-time <…> appears as a differential <…>. The urban space is complete contradiction” (Lefebvre, 1991, pp. 37-39). It is stressed to be complex, heterogeneous, multifaceted, interrelated. This vision of the new space constitution revives the idea of a palimpsest, as the latest embraces that very endless multiplicity co-existing in one and the same place.
What is needed, is to shift the focus from those layers being constructed to the places being lived and experienced. That is exactly the point and the method I develop in my project on complex cultural geographical research of Yasenevo area in the outskirts of Moscow, Russia. I use a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews in order to try to single out what that standardized Soviet residential district is really unique and peculiar for local residents and plan to promote and use those ‘local specialties’ in a few cultural events in late 2019.
The project develops a multidisciplinary theoretical framework and is also practice-oriented. It is aimed at finding the unique features of a place, making it different from all the others, and promoting those features as the basis of local identities, connecting people into sustainable local community and thus symbolically constructing a meaningful place.
*The publication was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019 (grant №19-04-052) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100”.
In 2016 passenger service on the Moscow Central Circle (MCC, a circular urban rail line in Moscow) was reintroduced after its closure in 1934. The launch of this line allowed us to study the effects of a transport infrastructure project using observed rather than model-forecasted data.
We collected empirical data on changes in real estate values, land use, transportation flows and travel behaviour as consequences of integration of the new rail line into existing urban transit system.
The research project consists of several parts. First, we studied residential rent rates. The rent growth effect was most substantial in the residential areas around Moscow Central Circle stations without access to existing metro stations.
Second, we used the Node-Place model to evaluate the magnitude of the potential (and officially planned) land use changes in the long-run, i.e. the increase in the place value. We revealed that the long-term MCC impact is modest, because the opportunities for land use change around the MCC stations are currently limited and therefore the increased node value is not accompanied by the proportional change of the place value.
Third, we used Moscow Metro origin-destination matrices for typical working days in March 2016 and March 2017 to evaluate the impact of the MCC on the redistribution of passenger traffic volumes. We observed an insignificant decline in load level of Metro Circle line and radial lines and interchanges in the city centre.
Finally, we studied changes in travel behaviour. The majority of respondents do not use the MCC to reach locations near new stations but use it mostly to optimise their existing routes, which also supports the findings of the relatively low place value of the territories around the new stations.
Repeating the same measurements regularly will allow us to monitor the changes in the use of the MCC and track its performance and its effects over time. This paper covers the short-term effects that occurred in the first 12 months of the MCC operation.
Urban population is growing worldwide. Our societies are facing grand challenges like climate change and growing inequalities between people. There is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role. Easy and environmentally sustainable mobility options are called for in most cities. For these to attract users, they need to be safe and pleasant, providing positive experiences and well-being in addition to efficiency in time or cost.
NECTAR conference is organized with a title “Towards Human Scale Cities – Open and Happy” to reflect the new requirements of urban transportation. This 15th NECTAR conference, organized in Helsinki 5th - 7th June 2019, provides presentations by world-class keynotes Mikael Colville-Andersen and Professor Tim Schwanen, who approach human scale mobility from the viewpoints of a designer and a researcher. More than 140 scientific presentations explore advancements in the field of transport, communication and mobility, with a particular focus on good quality mobility options for people. The focus of the conference is urban transportation and the new possibilities that open data and digital technologies provide for mobility solutions and their research. Presentations provide food for thought concerning mobility choices and quality, new mobility solutions like MaaS, and policies that are implemented to support them.
Helsinki offers an interesting environment for the 2019 NECTAR conference. It is the home of the busiest passenger harbor in Europe with a twin-city development with Tallinn across the bay, and a major air transportation hub between Europe and Asia. It is one of the fastest growing capital regions in Europe, with large densification developments taking place in old logistic centers: harbor areas of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama and a train depot in Pasila. Public transportation is valued high by citizens, as well as politicians and planners making investment decisions for the future. First robotized buses are in operation and MaaS solutions are emerging. New bike sharing system is one of the most used in the world and has expanded to cover most of the city region. As everywhere in Europe, new forms of micromobility from electronic scooters to electric longboards are appearing on the streets making planners and police puzzled. The city has profiled itself as an open city: large amounts of open data about the region have been made available and the region of Helsinki is committed to open and transparent decision
and policy making. This supports also research in the major universities: University of Helsinki and Aalto University, the local organizers of the conference.
We anticipate that the conference days will forward our thinking on how to make cities more sustainable, functional and pleasant for people, and how to study them scientifically in a meaningful and transparent manner.
The article is devoted to a new type of lawsuits - the obligation of the administrative defendant to refrain from committing certain actions, which appeared with the adoption of the new Code of Administrative Court Procedure of the Russian Federation. The article explores how such issues are reflected in the latest courts’ practice. The author points out that these lawsuits can be considered as “strategic litigation”. Such type of lawsuits is a progressive method of judicial remedy, as they allow solving urban problems for many residents at once. For example, claims with requirements to refrain from construction; protection of the rights of persons with disabilities; challenging the refusal to hold public meetings; lawsuits against the demolition of commercial facilities; the requirement to refrain from committing actions to restrict access to public spaces; and a number of others.
Cultural landscape is a key concept within cultural geography, changing its meaning together with social & scientific development. The shift from new cultural geography & Russian geohumanities regarding cultural landscape as a representation towards critical geography is discussed. The latter describes cultural landscape as a totally urbanized thirdspace, lived & differentiated landscape combining physical, mental & social spaces. An example of Skolkovo Innovation Centre in Moscow as an exopolis is discussed as a new urban form of postmodern cultural landscapes.
From methodological standpoint, a comprehensive study of post-urbanism imply a cognitive fixation any spatial events as co-spatial. We can talk about the co-existence of different cognitive / ontological regimes in the post-urban reality, which themselves can also be called co-spatial. Co-spatialities, understood as a communicative event nodes, can be considered as key elements in prototypical imagination map of post-urban space. Post-urban geo-cultures, producing a variety of cartographies of the imagination, are a fundamentally heterotopic. Different communities become post-urban, forming their transversal cartographies of the imagination, constantly proliferating, becoming more and more co-spatial and, consequently, generating this post-politics, which aimed at accelerating multiple dispersion of communicative events. Post-urban communities create a post-political situations, in which the cartographies of the imagination becomes the basis of new urban landscapes or new geo-cultures. Post-city develops practices and processes of hetero-textuality when the texts of individual geo-cultures not assume a common space of reading, the plan of value and the plan of expression, and becoming only in terms of consistency as the landscape modulations, immanent to imaginary cartographies. Any post-city cartography of imagination supports special landscape modes which create the realities of material and mental character. Any cartography of imagination can phenomenologically think as the line becoming a particular identity of individuals and communities. Post-nomadic mobilities lead to the coexistence of multitudes of such cartographies, whose event co-spatialities create a post-political communities, manipulating differences "velocity" of multiple communicative discourses. The creation of new cartographies of imagination forms post-urbanism as an art of detailed co-spatialities.
The article discusses the specifics of the formation of geographical images on the example of urban texts and myths, the characteristics of meta-geography cities of Modernity are revealed, the transformation of the geographical mental space in post-urbanism is interpreted.
This paper examines the latest case law and urban studies covering place-naming conflicts (e.g. names of public streets, parks, metro stations, etc.). The author elucidates the relationship between the place naming rights in the context of Henry Lefebvre’s “right to the city” and critically assesses the existing approach of the authorities that consists in ignoring residents’ opinions. The author points out typical problems faced by the plaintiffs (preclusive time limits, the question of actio popularis) and hopes that in the place-naming disputes complaints relating to the right to the city will soon be given a green light when evaluating formal aspects of the claim. Today, all toponymic policies are concentrated in the hands of the city administration, and the task of citizens is to become at least an equal partner in this process.
The article analyzes the transformation of the regional political regime in Moscow Oblast from the decentralized
type to the centralized one. Centralized subnational authoritarianism is understood as the implementation
of the federal center policy to incorporate regional and local elites into the system of national electoral
authoritarianism. The authors examine the institutional context of transformations: the reform of urban development
authorities, understood as the process of redistributing rental flows, and the limitation of political
autonomy by transforming the procedure for occupying elected offices. The transformation of formal institutions
made the political process more predictable, though it led to a number of unobvious results, which included
the increase in the importance of informal procedures in the political process. In turn, it led to restriction
of the access to political participation. The results of the elections (Moscow Regional and State Duma
campaigns of 2011 and 2016, and the governor election of 2018) show that the mayors being ‘old-timers’
managed to provide better electoral results for the ruling party than the newly appointed loyal mayors. The
authors conclude that dismantling of old ‘political machines’ has led to the reduction of electoral support for
the ruling party in the Moscow region on average. Thus, political centralization, which made the political
process more predictable, led to the unforeseen consequences such as the decrease in the ability of municipal
authorities to provide electoral support for the ruling party.
This article aims to contribute to the recent efforts of ISUF to bring closer and ultimately integrate the academic research on urban morphology and urban planning practice.
Methodological differences between schools of urban morphology are a barrier to integration between research and practice. Qualitative schools focus on the historico- geographical approach of MRG Conzen and the process typological approach based on the work of Muratori (Oliveira, 2016)). Quantitative schools include Space Syntax (Hillier, 1996) and various spatial analysis methods primarily popularised by Michael Batty (2013). Each school brings its value to the urban morphology research, but even the academics may not always be able to appropriately select the methods according to particular problems they are trying to address (Oliveira and Medeiros, 2016).
There is a need for a unified approach to the study of urban morphology. Oliveira (2013) proposed such an approach (Morpho) on a street scale, later Oliveira and Medeiros (2016) demonstrated its application at the city scale.
Building upon the Morpho methodology this paper assesses the urban form in Moscow using seven morphological measures. It then explores the effects of physical urban form in Moscow on urban vitality (where “vitality is what distinguishes successful urban areas from the others” (Montgomery, 1998)) characterised by (a) intensity of use of urban space (through analysis of mobile phone data and locations of businesses) and (b) land value (through residential rental rates – Xiao (2017) explored links between housing market and urban morphology extensively, but only in relation to a set of Space Syntax measures).
A metaphor of palimpsest is used to describe the multivocal cultural landscapes since the 1970s.
Interventions into new cultural / humanistic geography, semiotics and the theory of regional
geography help to regard each layer of the palimpsest as a constructed context, centered by
dominant representation of a place.
Real-and-imagined landscapes are regarded as palimpsests lived through everyday practices seen
as processes of (re)construction of new layers.
Trying to unite those “constructing’ and “living’ perspectives is a challenging task for urban
A series of mobile quest games was made by the author for Moscow Agency for Area
Development through Culture in order to construct new tourist sights outside city centre. This
project is discussed as a case of constructing new geographical contexts (palimpsest’ layers) and
the lived experience rediscovering the distant residential areas, traditionally regarded as
standardized “non-places’, as becoming rich in symbolic capital.
Konstantin Trofimenko (PhD), Director of Centre for Research of Urban Transport Problems, Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies, and Nikita Krupenskiy (PhD), a senior research fellow at the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, both at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, explain how digitalisation has been introduced to the cities of Russia and how its continued development is making city spaces and transport networks smarter.
The grand challenge of accessing fresh water and sanitation is a global concern. The intensity of challenge depends on the geographical location as well as the level of socio-economic development of individual countries. The present paper first reviews the key water-related global trends and examines the global agenda on water issues. Next the focus is turned on Russia. Despite of being one of the water-rich countries in the world, Russia faces a number of substantial administrative and structural issues in the water sector. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a long-term strategy for the management of this infinite, but strategic resource. The present paper develops long-term scenarios and strategies for the Russian water sector towards the year 2030. The study draws upon an earlier horizon scanning activity that identified a set of global trends and uncertainties related to water sector. This horizon scanning work is extended into alternative futures for the Russian water sector by using a combination of Foresight methods including scenario analysis, data mining, and various expert methods. Scenarios developed are characterized by a set of qualitative and quantitative factors and indicators of future developments in three key domains for the water sector: (i) the sustainability of water systems; (ii) water use by households and industry; and (iii) new water products and services. Scenarios present four alternative trajectories for the water sector that may also be applied for certain countries whose water sector is comparable with the Russia. Among the scenarios developed in the study, it is concluded that the most probable ones are Problem conservation and Losses and accidents. However, there is a possibility to revert these scenarios into more desirable trajectories, which are presented in other scenarios. For instance, a variety of new clean water technologies may be widely applied to achieve the Nearly perfect future (visionary) scenario.
Studying visual and plastic arts, social researchers tend to assume that an aesthetic object is pre-given to a viewer who does not participate in the process of the object’s becoming. They problematise the aesthetic status of an artwork, but not its objectness. This paper shows that audience perception, considered as interaction and situated practice, does not merely define the meanings and emotions attached to a certain object, but plays a constitutive role in the objects’ physical state and its very existence as an object, i.e. as an integrated unity extracted from its surroundings and affording a direct, intensive encounter. Synthesizing the conceptual resources of Hennion’s pragmatics of taste, Simmel’s aesthetic theory, gestalt theory, and social phenomenology, I explain various ways whereby an object in the situation of perception happens and achieves a certain mode of existence or fails to happen and disappears. The paper is based on three empirical examples derived from the ethnographic study of the open-air land art/architectural festival ‘Archstoyanie’. The first case illustrates how an object is extracted from the environment and the festival’s infrastructure; the second, how the visitors destroy the incomplete boundaries of an object so that it dissolves into the surroundings; and the third, how an object maintains its integrity despite its inner complexity and multiple centres attracting the visitors’ attention.
A comparison of Arctic cities in Russia with their counterparts in the southern parts of the country suggests that there are no significant differences in the degree of employment specialization or in many indicators of social amenities and services. The most important distinguishing feature of Arctic cities in Russia is the high mobility of their populations and the relative ease with which they move. The mobility of the Arctic population should be recognized as a kind of safety valve for the Arctic cities, underpinning their resilience in the face of changes in economic conditions.
Real estate expropriation for public needs is quite a common practice in Russia. Over the past 30 years, as private ownership of land and other real estate has developed in Russia, an objective need also developed for such expropriation, including forced real estate expropriation, based on judicial decisions, subject to “fair” compensation for the owners. Over the period, a regulatory environment emerged for handling cases, establishing grounds and procedures for real estate expropriation for State and municipal needs, and a certain enforcement practice was developed.
Before 1990, the Soviet government regarded private rental housing as a necessary evil that performs the useful function of mitigating housing shortage problems and supporting labor mobility… After 1990 and during the first two decades of the housing market’s development, Russian governments viewed rental housing as a residual segment of housing policy …
This chapter aims to shed light on the role that the private rental sector, in its various versions, played in centrally planned economics during the Soviet period and how it affected the development of housing systems during the period of transformation
Urban logistics seems to be a kind of «black box» for researchers and city authorities in the recent years, and as a result, a lot of research is limited to describing individual effects or setting out a course of planning a logistics system in urban conditions without taking into account some of its specific characteristics, such as influences of urban transport and environmental policy, urban spatial development; city authorities in turn prefer purely formal interaction with logistics companies and retail, introducing various kinds of prohibitive measures and without monitoring the results of their implementation. Thanks to the ongoing industrial revolution, radical changes are taking place, and digital technologies allow introduction of new management methods, which leads to fairly radical changes in city logistics. This article presents an overview of the changes that will affect the structure of the logistics chain. These changes are organized into 5 groups of factors: new technologies development, economic, environmental, social factors, external threats. Timely preparation for future changes will allow both logistics companies to correctly allocate available resources in the modernization of the logistics system, and city authorities to amend urban policy in the field of management and coordination of city logistics.