The study “The Age of agglomerations” provides a fresh perspective on governance practices and strategic planning in global metropolitan areas (agglomerations).
The research covers such megacities as London, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Moscow and Buenos Aires. All of them face unique development challenges within complex social and political frameworks while they are comparable in terms of population.
We have also reviewed a number of rapidly growing agglomerations (1.5 to 5 million residents): Milan, Lyon, Auckland, Copenhagen-Malmo, Montreal and Brisbane. Several metropolitan areas in Russia with advanced governance arrangements were introduced as a part of the study: Saint-Petersburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Makhachkala-Kaspiysk, Perm, Samara-Tolyatti and Vladivostok.
At the pre-design stage, we have analysed physical and legal planning constraints, the current quality of the facilities, the transit routes, the landscape and visual impact and other aspects. 400 verified responses to our online survey pointed out the most frequently used facilities as well as the crucial problems that local residents face while visiting the park. According to the survey, the park is often perceived as unsafe, out-of-date and confusing to move around. At the moment it lacks well-maintained spaces for cultural and sports activities, basic service facilities and accessibility of the waterfront. Moreover, the publicly and privately owned parts of the territory appear to be fully disintegrated. Based on the pre-design analysis and survey results we have identified the areas requiring intensive development and those needing limited renovation.
Sociological analysis remained our primary tool throughout the project. Along with the online survey, over fifty residents were consulted via individual and group interviews on whether the park met the needs of their families and what kind of facilities they would like to be introduced there. The interviews and the survey helped to define a long-list of 39 facilities that were later put up for a final open vote. 300 residents gave their votes for the facilities in each of the six categories: activities for children, culture, sports, nature and recreation, entertainment, food and services. We integrated the most favoured objects and facilities into the service model for the park.
According to the developed strategy, the park will offer multiple cultural, sports and recreational activities all year round.These include skating, skiing, wall climbing, picnicking, reading, sunbathing and many others. The lighting, street furniture and pavement will be replaced or reconstructed to create comfortable and safe public spaces. This specifically relates to the entry groups, jogging and cycle paths and waterfront areas. The park administration will resume the maintenance of the wild green areas. Various kinds of food services, as well as access to emergency medical assistance, will ensure longer hours spent in the park. We are already conducting negotiations with local entrepreneurs willing to locate their services there.
Over the course of renovation, our client is planning to bear capital expenditures of more than 300 million rubles. Around 20 million rubles of yearly operating expenses will be covered by local administration.