Strategic approaches to urban economic development discussed in Novokuznetsk

Backed by Vnesheconombank, Russia’s top coal producer SUEK, the news agency Interfax, and Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, Novokuznetsk (Kemerovo Region) hosted the strategic session “Single-Industry Towns: into the Future!”

The session brought together representatives from the expert and business communities, municipalities, and public agencies. In particular, the participants included Interim Governor of the Kemerovo Region Sergey Tsivilev, Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairperson Irina Makieva, and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Energy and Chairman of the Public and Business Council for Single-Industry Towns Dmitry Islamov.

“The objective of the session is to produce practical solutions and draw up a new development programme for single-industry towns in compliance with the national priorities identified by the President,” said Irina Makieva, Deputy Chairperson of Vnesheconombank. “In recent years, we have made a large step forward. Delivering the single-industry town programme, we have got a unique experience not only in creating new jobs and raising finance but also in undertaking initiatives designed to transform urban environment. Today, we have to outline new approaches that we will help introduce in urban communities.”

The session was held in six sector-specific groups set up by priority in compliance with the May presidential decree. In particular, these priorities are: housing, urban environment, safe and quality roads, environmental issues, education, science, culture, public health, demography, community engagement and participation in dealing with urban issues, digital economy, small and medium businesses, export promotion, etc.

In the context of the session, its participants took part in the masterclass “Urban Regeneration: Case Studies”, which focused on success stories of urban development and economic and social initiatives.

In Novokuznetsk, Ms Makieva also had a meeting with business leaders to discuss potential investment projects to be delivered in the Kemerovo Region with backing from the Single-Industry Town Development Fund.

At the meeting with heads of single-industry towns, Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairperson summarized the results of the strategic session and reflected on how its recommendations can be used in managerial practice.

During her business trip to Novokuznetsk, Irina Makieva also visited one of the facilities built as part of the the Five Steps of Municipal Improvement Programme (Vintage Car Museum) and met with teenage girls in the run-up to the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. During the meeting, she stressed the importance of taking into account the youth’s opinions and priorities when making decisions on the urban development.

Vnesheconombank places a special focus on the modern urban economy and related best practices. “We should address urban infrastructure issues and engage in projects aimed at comprehensive urban development and preparation of large parcels of land, i.e. projects that directly impact the living standard. What is more, we will help deliver such projects on the repayable basis. Currently, the approaches to urban agglomeration development are under consideration, and VEB will be at the forefront of this work,” says Igor Shuvalov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank.

Overall, there are 319 single-industry towns in Russia, with 24 of them located in the Kemerovo Region, which makes it the leader among the Russian constituent entities in terms of such municipalities.

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