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July 4, 2023
Plenary session in the format of an expert session "Proposals for the development of historical cities"
  • Sergey Pakhomov
    Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Construction and Housing and Communal Services
  • Vladimir Koshelev
    Deputy Head of the relevant Duma committee
  • Natalia Trunova
    Auditor of the Accounting Chamber
  • Nikolay Shumakov
    President of the Union of Architects of Russia
  • Sergey Voropanov
    Mayor of Vologda
  • Marina Rakova
    Minister of Urban Development and Agglomerations of the Nizhny Novgorod Region
  • Sergey Mayarenkov
    Director of ANO Irkutsk Quarters
  • Elena Mishina
    TASS correspondent, Head of the Housing and Urban Environment direction
Items included in the resolution of the Forum “Rebus”: revision of laws, liberalization of rules, additions into the rating of governor
The following proposals for the development of the historical territories of cities, which were elaborated by more than 140 Russian experts, were presented at the plenary discussion concluding the Forum “Rebus. Economics of Construction in the Historical Center”.
The second plenary discussion of the Forum “Rebus. Economics of Construction in the Historical Center” was dedicated to the proposals that were elaborated for the development of Russian historical cities at numerous forum sites. For two days in Kazan, we studied best practices, discussed pressing issues, and focused on pain points. Following the results of the Forum, the working commission draws up a resolution which will be sent for consideration to legislative and government bodies. State Duma members and relevant ministries at the federal level will consider the proposals of experts. The general goal of this activity is to make changes to the legislation that will allow working more effectively on the development of historical urban territories, developing them while preserving tangible and intangible heritage, and at the same time building an effective economy of projects.
The presidium was attended by Minister of Construction, Architecture and Housing Marat Aizatullin, State Duma Member Aleksey Koshelev, Auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Natalia Trunova, Adviser to the President of the RAASN Natalia Klimova, Executive Director of the RGUD Elena Bodrova, Head of the Union of Architects of Russia Nikolay Shumakov and Program Director of the Rebus Forum, Assistant to the Head (Rais) of Tatarstan Olesya Baltusova. The plenary session was moderated by Sergey Mayarenkov, Director of Irkutskiye Kvartaly, ANO and Elena Mishina, TASS correspondent, Head of the Housing and Urban Environment Department.
Take Kazan as an example, clarify terminology, and amend the Law 73-FZ
Aleksey Mikhailov, the moderator of the session “Legal Instruments for Sustainable Development in a Historical City”, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of St. Petersburg, announced practical proposals from his section of the Forum.
- Supplement the historical settlement with components of socio-economic development. Recommend to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation to provide for the development and approval of a methodology for determining the list of measures for the sustainable development of historical settlements in elaboration of the Article 60 of the Law 73-FZ. Put both tangible and intangible components in the list, and as an analogue, recommend a management plan declared by UNESCO, which states that a settlement is a living mechanism where people live and their activities change.
- Recommend taking as a basis the approach of Kazan to the concept of sustainable development for application in large cities as a system of methodological approaches, value characteristics, the formation of requirements procedure for preservation and development of the city.
- Recommend adding a section “Basic concepts used in this Law” to the Law 73-FZ, developing a procedure for determining the subject of protection, the boundaries of the territory of a historical settlement and the requirements for town planning regulations within the specified boundaries. Expand the definition of the subject of protection of a historical settlement, so as not to confuse the term in relation to historical settlements and cultural heritage sites; include intangible components in the composition of the subject of protection of the historical settlement and the subject of protection of the CHS.
- Expand the list of works constituting the activities for preservation of cultural heritage sites, approved by Government Decree No. 67 of January 28, 2022, include the development of projects for the protection zones of the cultural heritage, the project of the object of protection, the boundaries of the territory of the historical settlement and the requirements for urban planning regulations within the specified boundaries.
- These proposals are like a theory of small deeds. And if they are implemented in the near future, this will greatly simplify the work with the historical environment and make it beneficial for investment and sustainable development, - summed up Aleksey Mikhailov.
Moderate restrictions, liberalize work, create a register of architects and map historic centers
Director of the Center for Spatial Development of the CSR Foundation Tatyana Karavaeva moderated the group which discussed planning the balance of functions in the historical center. She shared her vision:
- It is necessary to plan the historical center in the context of the socio-economic development of the whole city as a whole. Including, taking into account the adjacent territory, which determines the effective labor market of agglomerations. Of fundamental importance is a team of professionals involved in the development of their cities able to attract the expert community and all the stakeholders of the territory. A symbiosis of interests of developers, city and regional authorities: only under this condition is the proper balance of functions possible!
From the point of view of fine-tuning the legislation, the group has prepared proposals for moderating restrictions on objects located in the historical center. In this context, the subjects of the investment component of the process were mainly touched upon. Issues of a property nature, the possibility of determining property rights in relation to objects, the complexity of regulating CHS: all these, according to the speaker and group members, are factors hindering development.
Elena Stryukova, Plenipotentiary Representative of the RGGU in Tatarstan, voiced the results of the group activity which discussed commercial property in the balance of functions section.
- We have identified free niches in the commercial property segment in the historical center of Kazan. Together with developers and businesses, we identified the success factors for the project in the heart of the city. The paradigm turned out to be simple: participatory design, - she outlined the main proposals.
The legislative initiatives proposed by this group were brief. Firstly, in connection with the development of a trend towards multifunctionality in property, to expand the list of types of permitted use of land plots and the purpose of commercial property provided for in the commissioning permit. And secondly, to simplify the procedure for changing the purpose of the building if it is used for several functions, to develop rules for fulfillment of this procedure.
Anastasia Gizatova, Head of the Schastlivy Dom (Happy Home) Real Estate Agency, completed the proposals in the Balance of Functions block. She moderated the discussion on residential property in the historical center. Its participants proposed to conduct a historical survey with full coverage of the residential blocks of the historical center in order to certify the entire development and make it publicly available, developers in all Russian cities still do not have this information; increase the role of the architect within the boundaries of the historical settlement; define the requirements for architects who have the right to design in the historical center and maintain their public register; organize a platform for the regular exchange of experience in construction and architectural activities in the community of specialists, aimed directly at the development of historical city centers.
Give preference to investors
Elina Zhiganova, the moderator of the group which discussed investment instruments for the development of historical territories, the Head of the PPP development department of the AIR RT, focused on the fact that it is difficult to develop historical territories without attracting business. Business, in her opinion, should be involved not only as a contractor for reconstruction and construction, but also as an operator for maintenance. The group has prepared the following proposals on how to improve the interaction between government and business. To begin with, preferences are needed for entrepreneurs in the restoration of CHS. Apart from all, a state program for the development of PPP in the regions is needed.
Most of the projects for the development of historical territories are implemented by investors using borrowed funds. There is an interest of funding organizations in this. And if the authorities are unable to financially support the project, it is offered to consider other measures of state support. In order to attract private investment in projects, it is necessary to work out the provision of tax and rental benefits, administrative preferences, simplification of urban planning procedures, and preferential connection to infrastructure.
Create project offices for the development of historical settlements and train specialists in intangible heritage
The founder of the Tamga Institute of Urban Studies, sociologist Marya Leontieva presented the proposals of the section which discussed issues of intangible heritage, including procedure of integrating the concept of local identity into territorial projects and materializing the intangible in projects and business decisions.
Experts propose:
First: to coordinate Laws 402-FZ and 73-FZ with regard to intangible heritage, to start standardizing the concept of intangible heritage of historical settlements. Second: to supplement Article 59 of the 73-FZ, expanding the composition of the subject of a historical settlement protection with the concept of “sustainable way of life”. Third: to improve the Law on Local Self-Government 131-FZ in terms of regulating the participation of citizens in territorial development projects, expand the discussion format, make it more multi-stage. Fourth: to recommend that the Kazan method of involving stakeholders in the development of the Sustainable Development Concept be adopted as a methodological guide by the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Fifth: to finalize the Concept for the development of historical settlements for the period up to 2030 of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation: describe the tools and mechanisms of PPP. Sixth: to supplement the All-Russian competition of the best projects for creating a comfortable urban environment and the draft standard for the master plan of cities of the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation with the requirements to study the intangible heritage of the territory. And seventh: to recommended the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation to develop new professional courses and guidelines for training of specialists who will deal with intangible heritage, its research, interpretation and accounting.
About “parasite” monuments and wise management
After all proposals were made, the presidium took the floor. The Head of the Ministry of Construction, Architecture, Housing and Utilities, Marat Aizatullin, announced that a working group would be created in the near future, where issues will be worked out, and then submitted to the State Duma Committee; such agreement already exists, the Minister confirmed.
- As for support measures, we are closely cooperating with the Government Commission for Regional Development, which is headed by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Marat Khusnullin, and it has a number of infrastructure menu tools that you can use. Here belongs NWF money. It is clear that they are all aimed at housing and communal services and infrastructure. But everyone understands that networks in the historical center and around it are aging, and they also need to be dealt with. There are various instruments for this, for example, bonds DOM RF, “long money”, which can be used for construction, reconstruction, and educational and medical facilities. Another tool is special treasury loans. In addition to this infrastructure menu, a new federal program “Modernization of Communal Infrastructure” has appeared. This program allows modernizing the communal infrastructure in the historic center.
A large project for the integrated development of the territory is now being implemented in Russia; the Minister recalled that Tatarstan is also not standing still in this regard. At the end of his speech, he promised to work out all the initiatives submitted for consideration, and then submit them to the profile committee of the State Duma for consideration.
In turn, Vladimir Koshelev, Deputy Head of the relevant Duma committee, summarized the results of the Forum as follows: the main thing is to involve historical monuments in the city economy. And if the authorities do not create conditions for this, if it is unprofitable to restore objects, this will turn historical territories into dead zones. In addition, he drew attention to an important problem: the devaluation of the very concept of an architectural monument. According to the MP, this “honorary title” is often assigned unjustifiably.
Include the governors’ attitude towards the development of the territory in their rating
Natalya Trunova, Auditor of the Accounts Chamber said that the proposals made could well be used in standard-setting work. However, in her speech, she drew attention to the issue of possibility of economic efficiency from each individual object or from their combination. The expert reminded the audience that, without doubt it is possible to design a garden city, but everything must be economically justified and expedient.
Natalia Klimova, Advisor to the President of the RAASN, told about the important function and mission of Chief Architects. Ideally, the Chief Architect of the region should be “if not the right hand, then at least the little finger of the first person”. Therefore, in her opinion, it is very important that chief architects be in those cities and regions where the historical component has been preserved. But this, unfortunately, does not happen.
- To be honest, we're in trouble. In the Tomsk region, there is currently no Chief Architect, neither in the city nor in the region. Maybe it is worth including in the rating of governors the attitude towards the environment, towards the development of the territory? To what extent is the first person of the region involved in this? Maybe it will have an effect in the regions where these issues still remain beyond the brackets? - The expert was outraged. In addition, she proposed to introduce architects into the structures of the Ministry of Culture, since this department usually remains on the sidelines, beyond the discussion of projects for the development of the historical center.
Destroy replicas and restore history?
Elena Bodrova, RGUD (Russian Managers and Developers Guild) Executive Director, reminded that the main thing for a developer is the issue of making a profit. At the same time, the constant tightening of legislation for the developer over the past 10 years has forced many of them to abandon projects in historical centers.
- Therefore, many properties offered to developers often remain unclaimed. Let’s be candid: the “Monument for the Ruble” is a program when a Mayor has persuaded the developer to take control of the building, otherwise it would fall apart. And it turns out that all of us, both developers and municipal authorities, are largely overcoming difficulties that are absolutely far-fetched today: tightening the Land Code, complicating the position of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, and others, - the representative of the development community drew attention to her pains and aspirations.
Elena Bodrova sees the main task of the Rebus Forum in asking the State Duma to analyze the presented practices and proposals. In her opinion, it is possible to identify regions where all this can be tested in a pilot mode.
At the end of the discussion, Nikolay Shumakov, Head of the Union of Architects of Russia, proposed the adoption of a new law on architectural activity. And he voiced an eccentric dream:
- Remember the nasty, alluvial, spoiled historical centers which have emerged over the past 30 years. Stories when beautiful monuments were burned down and ugly structures appeared in their place. I understand that the proposal will fail. But what if it happens in Kazan? Let's remove these buildings and structures from the face of the earth and return the destroyed monuments! We will show the whole world how we protect our historical cities!