Urban Breakthrough Initiatives of Vnesheconombank

Vnesheconombank, DOM.RF (Russia Housing and Urban Development Corporation) and Strelka KB have presented “Tomorrow’s Cities”, an instrument for urban development in Russia. The association made this statement at the 2018 Moscow Urban Forum. According to them, Russian cities should provide the basis for sustained and long-term economic growth in Russia by creating the conditions for the promotion of high-technology, innovative and value-added urban services.

“Vnesheconombank will use its resources to make an urban breakthrough. Today, city development is a driver of nationwide economic development,” Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Igor Shuvalov said. “One of the goals is to extend Moscow’s achievements in urban economic and infrastructural development to other Russian cities. In partnership with DOM.RF and Strelka, we will be working in this area. In cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development, we also intend to use the resources of the Monotowns Development Fund to establish the Development Foundation for Modern Urban Economy Development, which will support not only one-factory towns but also other places in the creation of an efficient and comfortable urban environment.”

The goal of the “Tomorrow’s Cities” initiative is to introduce best practices while meeting urban management challenges. The initiative will provide a link for city administrations, experts and engineering companies: technology and engineering companies that are global leaders in their areas of operation. The initiative will include ten laboratories engaged in identifying and resolving problems and helping to find solutions in ten key areas of urban development, such as transport, environmental protection, urban infrastructure, management and finance.

According to the initiators, “it is necessary to build up the “end-to-end” principle of creating a comfortable living environment, which should contain all living spaces”. All segments of a city should become comfortable, such as a block, house, access, apartment. There should be more importance in relation to public spaces. This is very important and affects economic development in a city in its entirety, improves economic efficiency, promotes innovative development. There should be spaces for small and medium-sized businesses (catering, shopping, recreation, sports) and modern spaces for the development of new industries and technologies (coworking projects, technology parks etc).

According to experts, the 600 most developed cities of the world account for over 60% the world’s GDP. The population growth in these cities will be as much as 1.6 as an average in the world in 2025. By 2050, 70% of the global population will be urban. Cities are what are engaged in global competition for human capital, talent, highly qualified people. A properly managed city, with an adequate infrastructure, would be a centre of attraction in a modern economy. Russian cities are still behind their rivals, only Moscow and Saint Petersburg ranking high (Moscow: 18, Global Cities, AT Kearney; 35, Global Power City Index).

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