This exploratory research questions communicative patterns of Moscow metropolitan area residents: practices, attitudes to the city and technological tools used for information search and communication matters. Applying communicative ecology concept on the city level, author analyses data collected by an online survey (N = 200) to distinguish key communication patterns within three dimensions: social, technological and discursive. Among the major communication patterns, we identified significance of the strong ties among residents, relatively low level of membership in social and civic society organizations and exceptionally low level of involvement in local community problem-solving. The study delineates several problems of communicative ecology and prospective directions on urban communication research in Moscow.
Urbanism is about research, experimentation, and dialogue. It is the art of posing the right questions about the urban environment, and the science of making the tools to discover relevant answers.
The mindset underpinning practical urbanism is no longer dominated by intentions, professional intuition, and visionary concepts alone: Prior to the actual design and planning work, urban designers must now conduct thorough contextual research and intensive quests for analytical insights.
These developments in the field of urbanism provide a fundamental basis for the two-year Advanced Urban design Master’s program, developed by the Higher School of Economics Graduate School of Urbanism and the Strelka Institute.
For this reason, Anastasia Smirnova, the academic supervisor of our program, and Theo doitinger, founder of Td Architects, created the “Learning from Shabolovka” workshop. It focused on contextual analyses of Shabolovka Street in central Moscow, the hub of one of HSE’s busiest campuses.The structure of this four-week workshop had several focuses: conceptualizing and posing inquiry questions, field research, data creation/collection, and finally, the presentation of its findings.
Intensive field research of Shabolovka Street was essential for the workshop, as it was the main source of overall research data. Surveys and analyses of doors facing the street, the density of outdoor and indoor lighting, and the ways that coffee-to-go is purchased on the street represent new types of urban data and “urban devices” of a high explanatory power.
The collection of this data alone, even without the subsequent research, represents the extraordinary value added by this group of workshop participants.
The abstracts below summarize the workshop’s main findings by six groups of bright and talented students, each with its own research story and amazing results.
Read and enjoy.
Alexei Novikov, dean of the Graduate school of Urbanism
This article deals with the process of suburbanization in Russia. Its special attention is paid to two major Russian cities: Moscow and St. Petersburg. The article compares the processes occurring in the above cities with the similar ones in the American cities. This comparison provides a means of appropriate ways for improving the quality of life in Russian megalopolises. This article suggests that Soviet heritage could not afford Russian regions to copy American experience to the full extent. However, American “edge cities” are considered to be the best form of suburbanization in terms of increasing the quality of life.
The aim of this paper is to delineate the history of sound studies as a research field and to highlight their connection with urban studies and practices. Throughout their history sound studies have gone through the precritical and critical phases, and finally formed a postdisciplinary field. From the very beginning sound studies established themselves in the heart of urban problems, which enables us to consider them as an alternative (nonvisual) branch of urban studies. Today sound studies can provide urban studies with instruments that can help to overcome the limitations of visual culture. Thus sound studies form a resource ignoring which is likely to bring urban theorists and practitioners to misguided decisions.
Broadway is the most famous street of New York City. It follows the island of Manhattan along its whole length and through many of its vernacular regions. Field research of functional, social-economic, architectural and mental differentiation of the street from Bowling Green to 142 Street in Spanish Harlem shaped the methods of linear zoning and revealed 16 unique regions in the researched segment. These regions turned out to be functional, but their borders and composition are based on the vernacular regions of Manhattan. It appears that Broadway, as a major trade and social thruway, forms the surrounding urban landscape. But the role of vernacular regions, through which street passes, remains important and sometimes even crucial.
The article analyses the effects of new transport infrastructure on transport systems of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities. The choice of cities is based on the scale of planned transport infrastructure – Saransk, Kaliningrad and Ekaterinburg experienced substantial interventions. Analysis is conducted using open spatial data on population and street networks. All interventions in transport infrastructure were evaluated in terms of their effectiveness and usefulness for the cities after the 2018 FIFA World Cup – scale of improvements in street network connectivity and accessibility of key places in the cities. We identified that investments into new transport infrastructure of Saransk seems to be the most effective in terms of future use. We demonstrated the feasibility of conducting such analysis using only open data, but also identified some issues and pitfalls.
In 1960s advocate planners, as the main ideologist of this movement Paul Davidoff has put it, gave professional support to minority citizens — moderate- and low-income families and inhabitants of ethnic neighborhoods. Next decades the establishment of advocacy planning positions was made within city government agencies. It was called “equity planning”. Today advocacy planning has two dimensions. It’s an approach that can be used in any planning activity — within cabinets of power or in the work with communities. On the other side it’s an ideology that advocates for more just and equal basis of city life and supports poor and disenfranchised.
Parcellation is an essential instrument of city regulation that allows to oblige home-owners to take care of inner-block territories. However, as experience shows, to ensure effective maintenance of the territory, parcellation is not enough. This article considers the factors that influence the quality of maintenance of parcelled inner-block territories. Four blocks in Tolyatti are analysed, including their parameters, the evaluation of the quality of their maintenance, and the interpretation of expert interviews. This analysis helps to illustrate the processes of maintenance in the city, their particular problems and the role of parcellation. Based on the results, further research perspectives are suggested.
This article systematizes the experience of the summer field practice completed by students of the Department of socio-economic geography of foreign countries of the Geography Faculty of the Moscow State University. Urban studies are the focus of this article, in particular the study of Manhattan neighbourhoods, which have been researched by students annually since 2013. The article is divided into two parts: methodological and empirical. In the former some methods of urban data collecting and analysis are being revealed, while in the latter authors describe some of the results of Manhattan neighbourhood observations collected over the past four years.
Independent mobility is considered to be an important factor in the development of children. Based on a survey of schoolchildren (N = 568), this article examines the formation of permissive and prohibitive settings for independent mobility depending on the formats of parental accompaniment and the self-visit of places by children. We reveal the link between those who accompany schoolchildren of different age groups (8–12, 13–17) in the most remote places from home and the most visited places, and the distance to these places. If schoolchildren visit places close to home alone, the distance from home to the most remote places is more pronounced for them than for schoolchildren who move independently away from home. However, if children are alone in the most remote places, frequently visited places are far away from home. The revealed relationship is described by the mechanisms of the near and distant radius of parental control. A joint visit with the parents (“near radius”) of remote locations contributes to the increase of the parent’s confidence in the independent mobility of the child, and as a consequence, of the distances of the places visited from the house. While an independent visit (“distant radius”) of nearby places also increases the distance of the most remote places, it is not on the basis of parental care, but on the successful experience of the children’s mobility.
This article describes establishment and development of the history of urban mental maps. Two opposing meanings of mental maps are stated as a result of comparative historic study, namely, 1) mental spatial information, representing the image of the city and the orientations schemes, and 2) cartographical geovisualization, which reflects individual or group perception of space. Intellect-maps being not close to spatial data and “image-geographical” maps, elaborated within Russian geohumanities are additionally described in the first case. The divide between sketch maps drawn by people according to the researcher’s task and the maps of space perceptions, which are close to the traditional thematic geographical maps, is stated in the second case. The mental maps, combining the traits of both big classes are argued to be the most prospective. Kevin Lynch’s generalized urban maps based on the results of individual cities’ perceptions gained by various research methods, and “image-topographic” and “mythogeographical” maps from the Russian geohumanities are named among those prospective ones.
The article reviews the development of paratransit-type public transport and transport policy of local authorities. In the introduction the paper briefly describes the history of paratransit, it’s positive and negative features and makes an overview of Russian and foreign studies. In the main part the case studies of Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and Makhachkala (Russia) are performed. The paper analyses the development of paratransit route networks and the transport policy of public authorities of this cities. The gap between principal role of paratransit and the inertia of transport policy is revealed. In the final part the article provides recommendations to improve transport policy and transport regulatory system.
This paper describes the myth of the New Russia which is represented and constructed
in Zaryadye Park. Roundtables, interviews, observations and social network analysis show
that the park describes Russia using logically disconnected historical facts, “fragments of
Russia” and futuristic bionic architecture. Such contexts reveal the meta-modernism of
This article deals with the modern linguistic landscape of St. Petersburg, with a focus on the ways it represents the languages of migrants from Central Asia and China. Linguistic-landscape studies are traditionally believed to reflect the actual linguistic situation in a given region. Nevertheless, actual multilingualism of Russian cities, — resulting, for example, from migration to megalopolises — is not always reflected in the linguistic landscape, since both official language policy and a majority’s attitudes and linguistic ideologies can prevent such a reflection. This article is based on data gathered in 2016 during fieldwork in different parts of St. Petersburg (Devyatkino, Parnas, and Apraksin Dvor), and it analyzes directions of communication and main domains in which migrant languages can be used in written form and the level to which these languages can be found in observable and open urban spaces. As a result, this study of public signs, advertisements, signboards, and other written communication in the city’s public spaces not only provides us with information on languages other than Russian, but it evaluates the roles these languages have to play in the context of a domineering linguistic ideology of monolingualism that officially and popularly does not support language diversity
Urban environment quality and quality of living patterns are the key factors for Russian cities’ competitiveness increase. They both are to a large extent driven by the housing economy characteristics. The article provides analysis of basic trends in housing economy of Russian cities including:
• housing consumption;
• structure of housing and ownership rights;
• housing price dynamics and the level of housing affordability;
• condition of housing stock and utility infrastructure, investment in renovation of the housing stock;
• state of competition at hosing market and supply elasticity to demand for differentiated and good quality urban environment ;
• state regulation of the housing economy – support for demand and supply, taxation policies.
This article presents the results of a study of the child-rearing practices of Russian-speaking migrant women living in Madrid, which include the organization of the daily life of children, the choice of educational and structured programs and institutions. The aim of the research is to study the influence of the features of the neighborhoods and migration specificity of families on the child-rearing practices. The empirical base of the research includes interviews with Russian-speaking parents and teachers or organizers of Russian structured programs for children, as well as the data from observations conducted during visits to these programs, meetings and walks with parents and their children. The results of the research demonstrate that the institutional resources of the neighborhoods can limit and determine the diversity and the choice of structured activities in which children are involved. Parents follow a number of strategies to get over the limited availability of resources and unfavorable living conditions. Migratory specificity of families, showed in the level of proficiency in the Spanish language, shared ideas about the importance of the transfer of the mother tongue to the child, orientation on the Russian-speaking community, can mediate the influence of the neighborhoods on thechild-rearing practices.
We consider turnstiles as an integral part of the passenger experience. Turnstiles are a control technology to decrease fare evasion, but also define traffic rules for the interaction between passengers in the transport space and which normalize the corporeality and body experience of passengers. Turnstiles turn the variety of passenger corporeality into the normalized units which form the calculated and controlled passenger traffic. At the level of passenger experience, turnstiles organize a special sequence of actions for passengers in the pre-and post-turnstile zones, serve as a meeting and farewell point, ensure the “fairness” of emerging landing lines and the choice of seats by passengers. Turnstiles also often serve as break points and interrupt the interaction between passengers. Breakdowns and unforeseen situations often happen with turnstiles. For smooth operation, they need help and understanding from passengers and staff. Some categories of passengers (children, “pouched”, elderly and large-sized) have difficulty passing through the turnstiles, causing inconvenience to themselves and others. Turnstiles have left a significant imprint on the passenger experience of Muscovites, thereby being a direct implementation of the transport policy for the formation of a new type of passenger. The empirical material of the study consists of videos of the practice of using turnstiles in various types of transport in Moscow, collected in December 2017 and in the spring of 2018.