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Strategy-2030: five missions of St. Petersburg

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One of the main thesis of the Strategy – St. Petersburg ceases to be a city for serving and becomes a city for living. It departs from the image we know from Gogol’s, Dostoyevsky’s and Saltykov-Shedryn’s books. The St. Petersburg of servants and bureaucrats. According to the new concept, the city will have to take down the buttoned-up official’s uniform. And put on more comfortable modern clothes

Its important to understand that its not the matter of what will be built in St. Petersburg over the next 20 years. Strategy-2030 is not a General Blueprint, which it often being confused with. It’s a thoroughly written way, an algorithm of actions for the city as a solid live organism, the community of people. What’s important to do in order to make the city life better? So that St. Petersburg would not only be a beautiful city, but also have comfortable environment for its residents.

The Strategy was presented as a public document. At a respective website once can learn that the city is expanding to the south. Arrows mark transport routes which the city is desperately in lack of today. Some parts of the city are not connected at all. Active deeds in the Obvodnoy Canal area – these are the plans to turn the industrial area into a business quarter. Intellect has been proclaimed as St. Petersburg’s main capital 

Leonid Ivanovskiy, co-author of the “Strategy-2030” project”: “Firstly, the city’s mission – as a creator of new ideas – has been determined. Ideas for Russia. Ideas in culture, religion, science and business”

There are 5 missions like this named by the authorities: St. Petersburg as a cultural-historical center, as a scientific-educational center (it was equated to Boston in the US), industrial center (the ratio of industry will not be diminished, the ratio of high-tech will be increased), center of tourism (the number of tourists is expected to increase three-fold by 2030) and transport-logistical center (ports will be relocated to out of town, hence the transport flows will shift too). The last idea had the most vocal response from the residents.

Boris Zhikharevich, deputy director of “Leontyevskiy Center”: “The general concern is that the city will soon be locked down by traffic. And there has to be something done about that. There have been many talks on how the road traffic has to be organized. Some organizations used this channel to send their proposals”

5 million trips a day, 2 billion trips a year – that is how occupied public transportation is in the city. St. Petersburg is still the country’s second largest city, but it has already almost depleted its transport reserves. The time has come for another leap. Public transportation will change status. Today people have got used to sitting tight in traffic jams. But that is just a problem of comfort, which has been dealt with by the professionals of industrial design. They even made an asphalt compactor look glossy, so it will be easy to transform a public bus

There will be air trains roaming in the suburbs. Something suburbs of many European cities – like London and Copenhagen – cannot imagine their lives without. There were plans for something like this in St. Petersburg back in 1901 – project of Petr Balinskiy and his American colleague Merry Werner. Even then it was suggested to elevate public transport onto overpasses, to the height of 10 meters. In current conditions, this method seems very likely. Particularly in the vicinity of the Obvodnoy Canal and other deserted areas.

Vladimir Linov, architect: “The industrial circle of St. Petersburg is in reserve territories, where all sorts of know transport systems could be used – under and on ground, a monorail”

One of the air trains will connect Kupchino and the Pulkovo airport. Trams will travel at 50 kmh. Estimated travel time is 20 minutes. “Aeroexpress” trains will be launched from the airport to the Baltiyskiy train station by 2018. But the most incredible thing is a road from Pulkovo to the stadium at the Krestovskiy island – without a single traffic light. And the stadium itself is not quite a typical one – the northernmost in its class. Accommodating 68 thousand spectators, it will require an ultramodern subway stations, capable of letting through 60 thousand passengers at once.

Dmitriy Boytsov, head of architecture department of the “Lenmetrogiprotrans”: “The main mission here has been to deal with large passenger flows. That’s why the station was designed like no other in St. Petersburg – like a transport terminal”

Quality of living will follow transport system towards European standards. Salaries will grow by at least 4% a year – particularly for those working in social spheres. Investment will flow into the city, their annual turnover will increase three-fold. Although, the city’s population will not grow. It will be expanded by those coming from other regions and labor migrants

Boris Zhikharevich, deputy director of “Leontyevskiy Center”: “This is a conscious choice. Either we’ll be a small and decreasing society. Or we must agree to the inflow of immigrants, hoping that the city’s aura will turn them into full-fledged residents”

St. Petersburg will be divided into six independent zones. Another three will appear in adjoining suburbs – in Kurortnyi, Kronshtadtskiy and Petergoffskiy areas. Each zone will have everything necessary for living – theatres, museums, hospitals, colleges, shopping malls, work places. There will be fewer traffic jams, because there will be no need to travel from suburbs to the central city. The trend of the last few years – when St. Petersburg beat the country’s capital in the race for better quality of living – will thus be cemented

Boris Zhikharevich, deputy director of “Leontyevskiy Center”: “On the one hand, it shows that the city is more attractive than Moscow. But being more attractive than Moscow does not mean being absolutely attractive”

In a sense that there’s always room for perfection. Mind, the Strategy will be corrected every three years – depending on social changes. The mission of St. Petersburg will remain the same – creation and distribution of ideas. The place from where European values start their journey across the country. 

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