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06.06.2019, 10:46

Stanislava Boshkovich about Kazan: “I was impressed by the dialog between water and the urban environment”

(KZN.RU, June 6, Alena Miroshnichenko). Swiss architect Stanislava Boshkovich, an expert on modern urban design and urban transformations, gave a lecture on the development of a modern city to the Kazan public yesterday. She told the audience about the “virtual” connections of the cities, the advantages of consolidating the center and how Kazan impressed her in the 90s. The meeting for practicing experts, architects and students, was held in the space “Tochka Kipeniya” of the IT-park.

As S. Boshkovich noted, the city is a combination of natural elements and the built environment. At the same time, ecology is an important factor in the development of a modern city. Future projects are made on the harmony of these basic components, she believes.

Speaking about the evolution of urban models, she said that in the XIX-early XX centuries, they began to develop through the connection with nature. This view was a response to the industrial revolution and the decline in life quality in cities. S. Boshkovich cited Volga Bulgaria, Kazan, and other cities of Russia and Europe as examples of urban models and approaches in different periods of time.

The architect noted that it is now becoming increasingly difficult to divide or connect spaces, to zone them. “This is much more complex than in the past century when zoning could determine the development of cities. The ratio of time and space at the beginning of the XXI century is completely different. We determine the distance due to the time we spend connecting to one point or another, both real and virtual. Both of these layers directly influence our modern life, the development of the economy, and our social relations”, said S. Boshkovich.

Due to the development of technology in the world, interactive spaces appear: “constellations” of cities. The lecturer believes that the connection between cities is important, not their expansion. In her opinion, it is important to clearly define the boundaries between the city and the natural space. Otherwise, the city can spread to a valuable natural environment, which is a reserve for future generations. In this regard, it is crucial to look for new virtual and real connections to bond cities and activate existing resources, without affecting the natural space. It is one of the areas of urban territorial development.

“It is important to think about improving the state of the environment. The approach to solving environmental problems should be structural, deep, having a scientific basis. The mere green plantings alone cannot solve the problem. It is necessary to consider paths, corridors that will not be affected by urban influence”, she said.

In her lecture, the Swiss architect raised the issue of transport, housing and public spaces that are relevant to citizens of different generations.

Another important topic of the presentation was the development tools of the city, such as the general plan and the master plan of the settlement. Stanislava Boshkovich marked that these documents cannot include the entire amount of real and virtual movements of people. “They can neither represent, nor analyze, nor anticipate the development of cities when we are in a situation of constantly accelerating changes”, she said. “Today we are talking about abstract approaches, but what they can be is hard to say. There is no one recipe for solving all urban problems”, said the speaker.

The second part of the lecture was held in a dialog. Thus, the guests were interested in the expert’s opinion on the development of the historical center of Kazan. Today, this topic is particularly relevant. The concept of sustainable development of the historical settlement is being developed in the city. “The historical center of any city is its identity and a very important feature. Therefore its preservation as a component of the urban fabric is extremely important. At the same time, it is necessary to introduce new elements that are part of modern life. The best urban development projects will be born in the dialogue between modernity and the past”, marked S. Boshkovich.

Kazan citizens were also worried about the topic of “overcrowding” of the city center. The architect noted that this is one of the tools for urban development. Its advantage is that it is environmentally sustainable. The distances between the objects are reduced, and the transport load is reduced accordingly. However, according to the lecturer, it is important to keep a balance between urban development and green public spaces, natural elements.

As for the general vision of the capital of the RT, the speaker shared that she first came to Kazan in the mid-90s. Then the hospitality, national flavor, as well as “the dialogue between water and the urban environment” impressed her. But today, despite the fact that the city has become different, it has managed to preserve the charm and the most important distinctive features. “Today they are brought to a more modern and dynamic level. I believe that Kazan, compared with other Russian and foreign cities, is developing at high speed and for the better”, she concluded.

For reference

Stanislava Boshkovich has a Ph. D. in architecture at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio (USI), Switzerland, as well as previous degrees at the Moscow Architectural Institute (MArchI) and the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio (USI), Switzerland. Currently, she is engaged in research at the Imperial College London on the use of new tools for the design of cities of the future generation.

Previously, she lectured on modern urban design and urban transformations in Swiss, Italian, Spanish, and Russian universities. Her lecture is a logical continuation of discussions about the city and urban planning, conducted with experts such as Richard Florida, Vucan Vuchík, Jose Acebillo, and others.

Photo report
Architect Stanislava Boshkovich from Switzerland gave a lecture in the IT park
Video report
05.06.2019 19:06
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