Experts Discuss Growth Drivers for New Moscow and Small Towns


On 18 November, 2015, the Romanov Dvor Business Quarter hosted an open expert discussion (Urban Talks) “Periphery and Provinces: What to Suggest in the Fight for Man”, organised by ANO Moscow Urban Forum with the assistance of RD Group.

The discussion focused on growth drivers for individual areas and ways to improve their investment appeal. Using the examples of small and medium-sized towns that have lessons to offer, the Urban Talks participants considered the ways to develop New Moscow.

Speaking at the event were Vladimir Zhidkin, Head of the Moscow New Territories Development Department; Gagik Adibekyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors, President of RD Group Holding Company; and Ruben Vardanyan, entrepreneur, philanthropist and co-founder of the RVVZ Family Foundation, and others.

Small compact settlements are far more suitable for living than large cities. They allow living close to nature in a healthier environment and a quieter pace of living, while relations with neighbours are closer and more confidential. However, residents tend to abandon such settlements as not all of them allow the full human potential to be unlocked. A variety of alternatives was suggested within the Urban Talks of how to ensure that the integrated areas of New Moscow are a natural addition to the city inside the MKAD while retaining its appeal to the residents.

As Vladimir Zhidkin noted, “Moscow, which grew by 2.5 times in 2012, should acquire a basically new, modern image across the new territories. And that virtually in all development areas: whether it be the quality of housing, roads, medical service, social security, population employment or ecology”.

The following invited experts participated in the discussion: Alexey Muratov, a partner of Strelka KB, Evgeny Ass, Rector of MARSH School; Vadim Dymov, Chairman of Dymov’s Board of Directors, owner of the Republika bookshop network; Grigory Rezin, a partner of Strelka KB, professor of the HSE Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning; Tim Flynn, founder and Director of Tim Flynn Architects, architect, member of the Architectural Registration Committee and the Royal InstituteofBritish Architects, UK, and others.

Also exemplified during the discussion was the revitalising experience of Dilijan, Armenia, which became world renowned due to the interesting and culturally significant projects, in particular, UWC Dilijan College (international school), that appeared to be a real growth driver for the town.

“UWC Dilijan College is part of the strategy for reviving the town as a cultural, educational and recreational centre. We intend to turn Dilijan into an international educational hub. The school has already become an anchor development project that also facilitates the growth of entrepreneurial and social activities of the local population and the attraction of new invertors. We see cafes and hotels opening and the town residents becoming more actively involved in the town’s projects meant to create comfortable living conditions,” Ruben Vardanyan said.

“Successful development of cities and territories depends on the right combination of the key factors – the place, concept, architecture, and the quality of construction and use of real estate properties and infrastructures. The construction of UWC Dilijan College was a driver for Dilijan to revive and attracted investment in improving the quality of the urban milieu and infrastructure. The integrated town development project will build capacity for independent economic growth in the region for the next 50 years,” said Gagik Adibekyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors, President of RD Group Holding Company.