The International Spatial Development Forum is a platform for exchanging of knowledge and experience on the most topical urban issues.

The Forum aims to find new effective ideas of sustainable urban development in the light of the present global challenges. ISDF attracts international and Russian participants, including government and business leaders, as well as representatives of academia from various sectors of urban planning, development and management.

Development strategy

The urgent goal of The St. Petersburg development strategy is to make St.Petersburg a world city. The city that will be attractive for the international community and, first of all, for representatives of the creative class.

St. Petersburg is the largest northern city in the World and the fourth among the most populated European cities. Due to its special position, St.Petersburg is positioned as the Second Capital of Russia, as a separate federal subject of the Russian Federation and as a Center of St. Petersburg agglomeration determined the urban development of the vast area in the Baltic Sea region.

Goals and objectives

  1. Synergetic effect

    Consolidation of city managers, business and expert community to form a vision of the future of urban agglomerations;

  2. Independent expert assessment

    Setting of goals and objectives of urban agglomerations special development; Evaluation of urban development scenarios with the participation of experienced world experts;

  3. Creation of the investment-attractive projects

    Acquisition of necessary knowledge to create projects with a high investment potential;

  4. Citizens support

    Enhancement of the citizens role in decision-making processes concerning urban areas development;Understanding of the guidelines and directions of social-economic and spatial development by local people and communities.

The International Spatial Development Forum participants – top-speakers: mayors and city managers, world experts in the field of urban development, developers, investors, representatives of consulting business, technological and engineering companies, representatives of world-leading research laboratories, representatives of the government agencies as well as active and motivated citizens.

Egbert Stolk

Egbert Stolk

Researcher at the Department of Urbanism at the Delft University of Technology

What was interesting was active participation of the politicians. In some sessions, local and regional authorities widely participated (and sometimes even dominated) in discussions. I think, a more explicit reference to this political aspect of urban planning can be an interesting addition to the Forum next year. Not only invitation of the politicians but also discussion of political context. There is one more moment that maybe would demand more attention - it is an institutional role of professional planners / urbanists / architects in relation to this political context. What skills do specialists need to complete political request? This is due to the fundamental values that trigger the planning system. As there is a difference between these values in different countries and even within countries, I think it would be interesting to discuss them, especially on an international level. The inclusion of these three aspects (policy / role of the professional / values) will contribute to the realization of the future vision of St. Petersburg.

Andrew Bullen

Andrew Bullen

Co-founder and CEO of The Creative Cooperative, Consultant to major European regions for Innovation, Strategy and Design in the European Digital Cultural and Creative Industries, co-founded the European Street Design Challenge, global urban design competition hosting in Paris annually since 2010.

For me and my colleague Janine Huizenga the opportunity to discuss and share our vision of the future of St. Petersburg with a wide range of stakeholders - local authorities, universities, creative industries experts, architects, designers, urbanists and artists was the most important aspect of our participation in the Forum. We combined our participation in the Forum with a team-work with the students and specialists from St. Petersburg on creating the idea of the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island "reconstruction". It also gave us an insight into the real problems and possibilities of the St. Petersburg development. It was a great opportunity for a joint study of the prospects of the city with traditions, that has a lot of social and cultural problems in terms of the future development.

Andreas Trisko

Andreas Trisko

Head of the Urban Development and Planning Department,,Head of Municipal Department 18, City of. Vienna

In my opinion, the most interesting point of the Forum was the opportunity to make sure once again that big cities all over the world have the similar problems and also the same strategies for finding solutions to these problems. In my opinion "... important issues for the future development of St. Petersburg are:
1. Traffic and public spaces. You do really have traffic jams, which I haven’t faced in Vienna for a while. Our solution is more pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport. This solution also involves rethinking of arrangements of streets and public spaces.
2. You as a growing city can also check to see whether the reconstruction of the gray zone in the city center more efficient (or, at least, an additional) way to solve the problems of growth - in relation to the construction of satellite towns"

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