People representing urban communities have been given an opportunity to participate in an extensive educational program that includes a contest of art projects, a workshop on how to promote good neighboring and forge local communities, a program on fostering creativity in children and youths, and a program for developing projects seeking to improve the urban environment.
The list of the educational program’s participants included young architects, designers, urban planners, sociologists, and urban activists.
2018: Dzerzhinsk and Kstovo
Among the project’s highlights was the City at the Starting Line forum, where experts in shaping and improving urban environments discussed with the residents of Dzerzhinsk and Kstovo how to effectively promote land improvement, develop their own spaces, develop and strengthen good neighborly relations. As one of the results of the forum, each city saw their own local communities form where members took part in developing projects to improve urban public areas and spaces.
2019: Blagoveshchensk and Pyt-Yakh
The 2019 program was hosted by smaller towns, such as Blagoveshchensk (Republic of Bashkortostan) and Pyt-Yakh (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug). It focused on strongly encouraging local residents’ participation in creative and volunteering campaigns.
Blagoveshchensk and Pyt-Yakh hosted the following events: the City at the Starting Line forum, a series of environmental campaigns titled A City’s Geometry, and a contest of artistic projects. In addition, a functional co-working space was commissioned. The project to improve the area around the city pond in Blagoveshchensk was entered in a contest announced by the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation.
2020-2021: Dzerzhinsk, Nyagan and Gubkinsky
Each of the cities hosted a forum dedicated to the topic of urban development. As part of the forums, the residents of Dzerzhinsk, Nyagan and Gubkinsky took part in transforming urban environments of their home cities. 2021 saw nearly 2,000 local residents take part in the project’s implementation. The project helped develop three design layouts for improving public spaces in these cities, one for each city. The projects developed in Dzerzhinsk and Gubkinsky emerged as winners of the RF Ministry of Construction’s Nationwide Contest of the best projects for creating a comfortable urban environment in small towns and heritage settlements of Russia. Federal investments totaling RUB126,250,000 have been mobilized for developing the urban environment in these cities. The project in Nyagan was implemented in the framework of the local Program for the development of comfortable urban environment.
The project made it possible to create creativity-infused areas (co-working spaces) and build functional art objects in the cities. As a result of this joint effort, vibrant communities of caring citizens have emerged there.
2021-2022: Nyagan and Blagoveshchensk
Svetlana Marchenko, a finalist of the Facets of a City art contest, Pyt-Yakh: The City Renovations project is awesome, pure and simple! It has brought together many talented people, people who prefer acting to talking and those true to their word! It is thanks to this project that our city Pyt-Yakh now has a beautiful graffiti wall almost 100 (!) meters long, plus we have inaugurated a functional co-working space! And, after several collaborative design sessions involving many of our residents, including employees of various organizations, schoolchildren, and just those who care, we have successfully completed a large-scale project to beautify and landscape our Siverko garden square. The City Renovations projects is for real!
Dmitry Krasilnikov, a finalist of the Facets of a City art contest, Dzerzhinsk: The City Renovations project is an opportunity to showcase one' s talents, and most importantly, to improve one' s urban environment, make it better and more comfortable. By taking part in the project, I learned a lot of fascinating facts about urban infrastructure from Natalia Sablina, an architect with NS Space, an architecture bureau, and Pavel Surkov, a moderator of educational programs with Moscow-based Skolkovo School of Management. I am grateful to the project for the opportunity to see my dreams come true!
Ilya Vlasenkov, a finalist of the Facets of a City art contest, Dzerzhinsk: In the month that we spent designing, drawing, analyzing and discussing urban challenges, we got really close with the members of our team and with the experts. The forum was extremely useful: far from useless chatter coming from obscure speakers, it was full of useful information that we were able put into practice! I would like to thank the organizers of the forum for their commitment and effectiveness!