AGENTS OF CHANGE: THE RESULTS OF “SUMMER AT STRELKA”

02.10.2012, 09:55
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This summer, Strelka took an important, bold step — it left its immediate surroundings and started working on residential regions outside the city center. With the help of a series of workshops, we made targeted changes to eight Moscow regions. For example, we turned the Voikovsky region into a playground, build a hotel in Mitino, launched a website for activists in Troparevo-Nikulino, and shot several films about Pechatniki. Most importantly, our experiment confirmed that it is possible and essential to forge partnerships between experts, residents and local officials.

Back at Strelka, the focus was on developing solutions to Moscow’s most pressing problems: the development of riverside and industrial zones, improvements to the environment in residential districts, and the establishment of procedures for public hearings. At every step, recommendations arose out of discussions between experts, city officials and the public. City Hall will take many of them into account when it launches future development projects.

We invited Moscow’s “agents of change” to Strelka and introduced them to the public. They included well-known experts in a variety of fields, as well as budding urban activists. They presented projects that have changed Moscow over the past year. International “agents of change” — Giancarlo Mazzanti, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Patrik Schumacher, and others — gave us a global perspective on the challenges facing Russia.

“Summer” brought many new ideas and inspired new projects. Beginning Oct. 1, incoming Strelka students will develop them further as part of their studies. “Summer” can be summed up in a few memorable quotes from program participants:

“We can no longer use an outdate language to work or think about planning.”

Yury Grigoryan, architect, founder of Project Meganom

“We’re not building a city or architecture. We’re building life.”

Grigory Revzin, architecture critic

“Intellect, and the ability to create something, are becoming more valuable than money.”

Oleg Chirkunov, former governor of the Perm region

“I looked at Moscow from the inside; it’s the best way to tour a city. My region, Mitino, became more like home, and now I say ‘hello’ to construction workers. It’s very interesting to talk to ordinary people, and I came to understand that I’m a people person.”

Anton Kolobakhen, mathematician, participant in several workshops about altering the city’s environment.