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Regular version of the site

Urban and Housing Policy of Russia through the Experience of the OECD and the UN

On April 12, 2018 the round table "Using the OECD standards and best practices in Urban and Housing Policy" took place at the Higher School of Economics. The event was conducted jointly with DOM.RF Russia Housing and Urban Development Corporation in the framework of the section S "Science and Innovation" of the XIX HSE International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Participants discussed a wide range of issues, in particular the potential of green growth and sustainable urban development.

In opening statement, Tatyana Meshkova, Director of the OECD HSE Partnership Centre, stressed that Russia pays great attention to the international standards of urban and housing development policy. The government of the Russian Federation instructed that analysis of the standards and the best practices of implementing state programmes and priority projects for Russia's strategic development be made, including in the area of housing and urban development.

A number of items related to the OECD best practices and standards in this area are included in the OECD's cooperation programme with the Russian Federation in 2018. The beginning of a ambitious programme of spatial development of the country and the formation of high-quality comfortable urban environment, based on modern technologies and architectural solutions, are included among the priorities of housing policy of Russia in the framework omsembly of March 1, 2018.

A keynote speaker Tadashi Matsumoto, senior policy analyst of sustainable urban development at OECD, presented the key activities and expertise of the OECD in the field of housing and urban policy. He praised the achievements of the Russian Federation in these areas, noting country's progress towards the integration of best international practices and standards. Mr. Matsumoto also presented a comparative analysis of the quality of the urban environment and housing policy in different countries and urban agglomerations, including Russia.

Leading Russian experts involved in housing and urban development policy took part in further discussion.

Oksana Garmash, Director of the Genplan Institute of Moscow, drew attention to the importance of taking into account the views of citizens in the processes of organising urban space and changes of the urban environment which are influenced by new socio-demographic and technological trends.

Irina Ilina, Director of the HSE Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning, shared the experience and results of the HSE participation in OECD and UN projects, drawing attention to the growing interest in housing and urban development issues among both foreign and domestic experts. In recent years, the Higher School of Economics has expanded the range of research on this subject. There was an increase in number of event (e.g. summer schools and additional education programmes) devoted to territorial and urban development, integrated development of territories, using international standards and best practices.

Mikhail Goldberg, the Head of the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, presented the results of Russia's work to improve housing affordability and quality. He noted that in 2017, outstanding results were achieved in amount of new housing which represents the highest levels since massive housing building in the Soviet Union.

Khristina Ishanova, Deputy General Director of the Unified Development Institute in the Housing Sphere, shared the results of the Russian project on creation of a system of indicators for assessing the quality of a comfortable urban environment, which has incorporated the best international experience in this field and are based on the techniques of the OECD Better Life Index and Index of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Tatiana Khabarova, the Head of the UN human settlements programme UN-Habitat in Russia, presented the results of its implementation in Russia. She noted the activity of the Russian side in the development and integration into domestic practice of the best international standards.

Andrey Terentyev, Chief Research Fellow of the HSE Institute of Natural Resource Economics and Environmental Policy, presented in detail the work of the OECD in the area of green growth in cities, highlighting current and future initiatives, as well as the results of cooperation between Russia and the OECD in this area.

Nurzhan Kadzhiakbarov, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation, pointed out the prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation of his country with the OECD in the format of both bilateral and multilateral dialogue in the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, he also stressed out that both Russia and Kazakhstan actively integrate the best practices of the OECD in recent years, including in the field of housing policy that can provide an additional incentive for the development of integration processes in the Eurasian space.

Nadezhda Khort, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design, presented the evolution of standard urban construction in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia. In her report, she focused on the very urgent task of developing architectural designs of a new generation that meets the modern needs of citizens. The HSE Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design is engaged in the development of standard development projects that are promising for implementation within the next decades.

The results of the discussion were summarized by Dmitry Narinsky, professor at the HSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism. The professor noted the importance of solving organisational problems, which will pull up the remaining priorities, including the design of architecture and urban planning. And in this regard, it is important for Russia to keep abreast of the developments that are continuously produced by such international institutions as the OECD and the UN, to be in the trend of the world urban development and housing mainstream.

Given the current Russian developments and interest of national experts and state organisations’ approach to the problems of housing and urban development policy, there is a good chance that conclusive results will be achieved in the near future.

Appendix:

Tatyana Meshkova’s presentation, Director of the OECD HSE Partnership Centre

Tadashi Matsumoto’s presentation, senior policy analyst in sustainable urban development at OECD

Mikhail Goldberg’s presentation, the Head of the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending

Andrey Terentyev’s presentation, Chief Research Fellow of the HSE Institute of Natural Resource Economics and Environmental Policy

Nadezhda Khort’s presentation, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design