A round table discussion on public services in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye took place at Strelka Institute on 2 October. Experts in a variety of fields contributed to the discussion of services that are needed to raise interest and attract residents and visitors to the IFC.
Alexey Muratov, Editor-in-Chief of Project Russia Magazine, moderated the discussion.
Elena Mandryko, Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoe CJSC, noted that from the city planning perspective, the IFC is expected to become a comfortable district that promotes liberal values through its urban environment. Analysing consumer needs and targeting the financial sector, it should be remembered that the finance people comprise less than a half of a company staff, and the needs of other employees should be taken into consideration as well.
Vadim Pokotilo, MсKinsey & Company, is sure that Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye needs a dominant cultural project, capable even of competing with such tourist sights as the Kremlin. Its architecture should invite people to take pictures of it or in front of it. It should serve both the IFC residents and visitors.
Paul Alezraa, expert in cultural programming, noted that in terms of its population, the IFC is comparable to a small French town (35,000 people), and it could be useful to conduct such comparative study when planning its infrastructure. He also made the case for the return on investment that cultural projects can contribute to. People visiting a city on business typically spend two nights there. But if the city has a rich cultural component they tend to stay longer, for three or more nights, thus increasing the revenues of hotels and other services.
Anton Belov, The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, believes that culture in Moscow is now growing faster than entertainment. Yet he doubts that creating a cultural institution from scratch in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye is the right approach to take, and suggests looking at the existing establishments in proximity to the site. For example, a cinema and photo archive in Krasnogorsk could form form a solid base for an internationally recognised museum in the IFC.
Vera Bunina, Skolkovo Foundation, differentiates between the two types of cultural infrastructure. The first is used every day, such as, for example, children’s art classes in a neightbourhood centre. The second is the 'genius loci', or the spirit of a place, that needs to be created based on the research into the needs of the IFC target audience.
Mikhail Artukh, Department of Culture of the Russian Ministry of Defense, believes that today an art centre could be replaced with a virtual museum. In his opinion, a virtual branch of a St. Petersburg museum could become quite successful.
Elena Lisina, Cushman & Wakefield, would like to see Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye as a low-rise environment. It is most important to find the right tenants for offices, which would then form a demand for the service component in the district.
Elena Volcinger, Omnivore Food, suggested introducing high quality food standards in the IFC, particularly at schools and kindergartens. This could become the IFC unique selling point and make it even more desirable to potential residents.
Mikhail Yakubov, Jones Lang LaSalle, talked about creative agencies and IT-companies who tend to pay a lot of attention to the design of their interior space and working environment. Mikhail suggested to take such approach on a city scale.