PUBLIC REALM AND DIGITAL SERVICES

PUBLIC REALM AND DIGITAL SERVICES

Date : 2014 – ongoing

 

Services provided:

 

planning constraints analysis,
qualitative and quantitative social research,
visual and landscape analysis, forest pathology,
service and financial modelling, developing and implementing the methodology for color coding and designing streets, facades, public spaces and signposts.

 

Client: METALLOINVEST MC LLC

Novotroitsk in Orenburg Oblast has seen a stable decline in population in the last 20 years. A significant share of residents work for a major employer – Metalloinvest, one of Russia’s largest mining companies. Metalloinvest has commissioned NOVAYA to develop a range of strategies aimed at improving urban environment and creating a network of quality public spaces. The local administration has provided full support at every stage of planning and delivery.

 

Since 2014 we have planned and overseen the reconstruction of the 10,2 ha Metallurg park located in the historic city center close to both industrial and residential areas. At the pre-design stage, we have analysed planning constraints and the current quality of the facilities. We found the outdoor cinema and dancefloor as well as the entry group in a very poor physical condition. The forest pathology revealed a massive amount of weak and withering plants and trees. A roundtable between the representatives of our client, city administration, local businesses and communities helped identify the expectations for the park and assess the demand for particular services. The park was envisioned as a place for both cultural, sports and recreational activities. Local activists expressed the need for preservation and renovation of historic sites and for introduction of new landmarks and commercial services that would attract visitors from the neighbouring cities. An online survey of over 6000 residents highlighted the most anticipated objects and facilities which we later integrated into the service model for the park.

 

According to the developed strategy, the park will be offering multiple activities for all age and social groups. The activities will be distributed across 9 themed areas: commerce and recreation, active sports, family & children, outdoor cinema, amusement park, and other. The strategy calls for retaining the existing regular planning structure of the park and connecting it with a citywide network of recreational routes. The green spaces along with the outdoor cinema, the dancefloor and the entry group are to be renovated in several stages.
Over the course of 4-year reconstruction, our client is planning to bear capital expenditures of around 120 million rubles. Around 9 million rubles of yearly operating expenses will be covered by local administration.

 

As of early 2018, the park has already seen a number of positive changes, including the installation of new playgrounds, street furniture and lightning elements. The dancefloor, the outdoor cinema, the fountain have been renovated along with the pavement on the central alley and parts of engineering infrastructure. Hundreds of local residents are engaged in planting trees and shrubs across the park.

 

In 2017 the city launched the reconstruction of Sovetskaya street – a transit and pedestrian corridor with key service and retail infrastructure. We have developed a design project for its busiest segment.

 

The online survey has revealed a number of issues such as chaotic parking, unsafe transit stops, disorderly facades and poor lightning. Our design solutions are based on the idea of “the forest coming to the city”. This involves using natural elements such as wood, stone and water and increasing the amount of green space. With the help of landscape design and greenery, the new street layout will be divided into a number of functional areas. This will allow for visitors to walk through, rest or wait for the transport service in a safe area with efficient sun protection.

 

Sovetskaya street reconstruction is jointly funded by the national and local government and Metalloinvest. The project completion is due in 2018.

 

Another product of our collaboration with Metalloinvest is the urban design code for Novotroitsk. We have developed the guidelines on the colour coding of facades, design of streets, public spaces and sign- and information boards across the city.

 

The solutions are based on the analysis of local architectural and planning context which involved classifying the buildings, streets and public spaces according to their role in urban fabric and residents` perception. The qualitative interviews and detailed visual and landscape analysis resulted in zoning the areas based on the type of buildings, urban blocks and streets. For each of the 11 building elements in every zone, we established the appropriate combinations of colors.

 

Our streets&public spaces guidelines are based on the cluster analysis of multiple parameters: transit and pedestrian traffic intensity, road width, functions of the surrounding buildings, types of public transport passing through, types of parking and sidewalks and other. The design code calls for emphasising public space and historic sites using accentuated pavement and separating the walkable part of the sidewalk from the one meant for the street furniture. The areas for sports and recreational activities will be designated in the courtyard while space for resting and gathering will appear along pedestrian routes. The design solutions will also allow for road traffic and public transport to no longer interfere with pedestrian flows.

 

The sign- and information boards guidelines will be implemented through collaboration between city administration and real estate owners. featuring the acceptable size and places for the signboards, as well as colors and fonts. Sovetskaya street would be transformed by 2020 as the pilot area .

 

We have also drawn up a roadmap for embedding the guidelines into the planning system. As of early 2018 we are working on the draft local and regional planning acts and on the simple manual for local residents and businesses.