III International Spatial Development Forum took place on September 28, 2017 in the Marble Palace (Saint Petersburg). The Forum brought together scientists, specialists in the field of megalopolises management, experts in innovations, authorities and the public.
More than 100 speakers — experts and politicians — from St. Petersburg, Moscow and other regions of Russia, USA, CIS countries, Europe, Asia participated in the business program of the Forum.
The main theme of III International Development Forum was «Re.Urban — Re.Evolution — rethinking of cities essence and evolutional ways of their development».
In welcoming the participants of the Forum, Governor Georgy Poltavchenko emphasized that the focus of all discussions was on the new management solutions, the use of digital technologies and the development of dialogue between government and society about creation of «smart cities».
Modern metropolis is not just an infrastructure, administrative buildings, industrial enterprises, it is, first of all, people themselves, their demands and interests. We continue developing image of St. Petersburg as a city focused on a people, based on humanitarian principles, and sustainable development of economics. When the forum has just begun its work, the search for a reasonable balance between preserving the historical heritage and the development of the city was in the center of our attention. We believe that we achieved certain results in this direction. Today, the focus of our attention shifts from technology to environmental issues and to more active participation of the residents themselves in the development of the city. First of all, in order to implement these principles, new policy decisions, development of a dialogue between the authorities and citizens are required. And the Forum serves this major purpose. (Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of St. Petersburg)
It is well known that the quality of life is the framework condition of the city competitiveness. The Smart city technology itself is the framework condition for provision of services for city residents and their participation in urban management. There are two approaches to Smart City. The first approach, which is being implemented in many cities, is centralized, which means that large vendors, such as Siemens or IBM offer the solution to a problem. The second one is quite a large direction, when urban resident becomes the main generator and carrier of the solution. This resident is clever, and, both figuratively and literally, he or she manipulates the reality using gadgets. We already see how applications for smart health services appear in our smart phones; you can monitor the mobility of citizens. There is a shift from the Internet of things to the Internet of people, in order to make any person a source of information. (Vladimir Vasiliev, Rector of ITMO University)
Also during the Forum, the participants discussed how to effectively form the creative capital of the modern Russian city. In addition, the Forum participants expressed their opinion on how modern P2P technologies-blockchain, sharing economy and crowdsourcing — change the life of the city and its residents and what the future awaits St. Petersburg agglomeration.
One of the round tables of the Forum was devoted to the issues of renovation and revitalization of urban spaces.
In its turn, the closing session of the Forum was devoted to culture: «The City of the Living: Culture as an Evolutionary Factor». Publicist Alexander Nevzorov, rock musician Sergei Shnurov, artist Andrey Bartenev and a theater director Semen Aleksandrovsky became speakers of the session.
I understand that nine out of ten those here present, most likely, do not agree with me, but the truth is on my side, because you cannot stop the development. A while ago, especially during the Soviet regime, the «good old days» with their culture and traditions were praised in Saint Petersburg. This attitude was quite reasonable because it seemed to be a kind of alternative to the gray, dull housing development offered by Soviet government offered. At that moment such fetishizing of the relics of the past was justified and understandable. However today there is no such need anymore. Now we should not be afraid of development; we need to understand that while there is some kind of a preserved post card version of Saint Petersburg (which, of course, will remain), there is nothing to worry about if huge, sharp, daring, magnificent sky-scraping buildings serve as a background for these post card views. (Alexander Nevzorov, publicist)
Art in an urban environment is an incredibly powerful weapon. And even such trivial manifestations, as an architectural symbol, could change our perception. Of course, changes must take place, Saint Petersburg can not remain a sealed system. And when you accept this idea, you will proceed to the second step: you will begin to support and help all those sprouts of new and fresh changes that you will see. Another thing is the quality of these changes, which is also an important issue. It is possible pile up a lot of nonsense in the middle of Russian Museum and claim that it is a revolution and evolution. However, forgive me but I have to remind that Saint Petersburg is a city of qualitative changes, so I suggest finding a balance, harmony, where the changes are corresponding to the general context of the urban landscape. (Andrey Bartenev, artist)