World's best urbanists to meet in Moscow

The Third Moscow Urban Forum will open Dec. 5 at the Moscow Manege. This international conference in the field of urban planning, urban studies and related disciplines, has been held since 2011 with the support of the Moscow government.

This year’s forum will bring together about 2,000 participants, among them Russian and foreign investors, members of the Moscow city authorities and city managers of major world capitals. More than 30 internationally acclaimed experts in urban studies will participate, including Enrique Penalosa, head of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development of New York, expert in suburban development Ellen Dunham-Jones, and the founder of the Architecture for Humanity charity fund, Cameron Sinclair.

The main theme of this year’s forum is "Megacities: development outside of the center.” Since most of the population of the world’s large cities live outside the center, the development of peripheral areas of big cities has become extremely important. The challenges involved in such development will be discussed by forum participants. They will debate such issues as how to identify and increase the value of the urban fringe; how to solve traffic problems; what approach to use for adequate development in view of modern realities; and where to look for points of growth: in recently incorporated territories, traditional bedroom communities, industrial areas or satellite towns?

The first day of the meeting will be devoted to international experience of peripheral development in big cities, and Moscow itself will be discussed on Dec. 6. On that day, experts will assess some new ideas for urban rejuvenation projects for the city; these are available online. The website was launched in July by the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, one of the forum’s organizers. For the three months after the launch, Muscovites could post online the things they would like to change about Moscow. After the comment period, architects and designers further developed the best ideas. These will be presented at the forum.

Finally, on Dec. 7, a city festival of urban studies will be held for the first time within the forum. The festival program includes exhibitions, discussions, roundtables, lectures, workshops, celebrations for children and film showings. Events will take place at more than 20 sites beyond the Garden Ring, the road that marks the boundary of the center of Moscow. A full schedule and an interactive map of events can be found on the Moscow Urban Forum website.

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