The RBC media holding, with the assistance of law firm S&K Vertikal held the forum “Future St.-Petersburg. Development scenarios”

17 August 2009

On August, 4 the RBC media holding, in cooperation with the Petersburg Directors Club and the Higher School of Management of St.-Petersburg State University with the assistance of “Centr strategicheskikh razrabotok “Severo-Zapad” and the European University in St.-Petersburg has held the first Forum “Future St.-Petersburg. Development scenarios”. at the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge. The event has set off an open dialogue of society, business community and authorities, aimed to generate a complete image of St.-Petersburg – 2020 shared by the majority of city elite, and ways to materialise this image. The main result of the event: participants have endorsed the idea of necessity of a dialogue and expressed specific suggestions concerning prospective forms of this dialog. Thus, a site for discussions about the future of St.-Petersburg was created.

The forum was designed as a part of the long-term discussion and research project “Future Saint Petersburg” which was initiated by journalists of “RBC daily Peterburg” magazine and experts of communication bureau ZERO. The project outlines were drawn in the course of discussions with experts from the Higher School of Management of St.-Petersburg State University, “Centr strategicheskikh razrabotok "Severo-Zapad”, the European University in St.-Petersburg and other scientific organisations of the city. Owing to the Forum, the project was joined by Saint-Petersburg administration committees. Ideas related to the future of the city expressed during/after the Forum by participants of discussion, will be as soon as possible shaped into collective hypotheses of city development subject to further discussion, development and updating.

Elena Krom, a journalist of RBC daily and one of authors of the project, noted in opening remarks, that “Crisis is a turning point in history where key players reconsider reality and make decisions to influence the whole postcrisis business cycle: i. e. 10 – 15 years to come. We may affect the events of 2020 for the next 2 years and not later. We can launch a cycle of innovations; to secure modernisation in all aspects of city life: economics, social sphere, culture, education. How do diverse groups of serious-minded and active citizens - businessmen, authorities, scientific community, creative workers - see progressive St.-Petersburg, a city of the future in all senses of the word? To get an answer to this question is the main task to be completed during the project realisation. Another question is what decisions and projects, according to participants of discussion, are likely to materialise the image of St.-Petersburg – 2020”.

According to Vladimir Knyaginin, director of “Centr strategicheskikh razrabotok "Severo-Zapad”, similar discussions are held in European cities and especially in the USA. As noted Vyacheslav Semenenko, Chairman of St.-Petersburg Committee for Construction, discussion in the area of town-planning and development concerning image of Petersburg in the XXI century between members of informed establishment is absolutely necessary, and he believes this aim is practicable. “Currently a discussion about the city image is held in St.-Petersburg, however, it has the nature of a conflict, and oftentimes it prevents us from achieving results. What we need is a productive dialogue”.

Anton Gubankov, Chairman of St.-Petersburg Committee for Culture has pointed out that he and the Committee shall encourage dialog between administration of St.-Petersburg and the new generation of serious-minded businessmen, a dialog aimed to develop cultural environment in the broadest sense of the word. Members of business community discussed the same topic.

As explained by Tatyana Lukovetskaya, director of retail sales of the Sollers company, “business community needs to develop discussion sites to reveal of long-range needs of the city and to form adequate offers as a response to these needs”. Denis Kotov, director general of book supermarket chain “Bukvoyed” has expressed the general feeling: “We must achieve an informed consent relating to development model of the city”.

According to Elena Krom, “analytical publication summarizing the results of forum in appendix to RBC Daily St.-Petersburg magazine is scheduled for September, as well as further discussions on the project “Future Saint Petersburg” and, moreover, creation of a site which will accumulate results of each stage of this project, to let all interested parties express their opinion - in general, a virtual space meant to consolidate people wishing our city modernization and development.”

The following leaders of key segments of Saint-Petersburg business, chairmen of the major Saint-Petersburg City Administration Committees, and scientists made speeches at the Forum: Shavkat Kary-Nyazov, president of management company “Morskoy Fasad”, Oleg Zherebtsov, chairman of the board of directors of the “Lenta” company, Mikhail Rydnik, president of the “Otkryty Sankt.-Peterburg” company, Anton Gubankov, Chairman of Committee for Culture, Vyacheslav Semenenko, Chairman of Committee for Construction, Anton Buchnev, deputy director general of Property Fund, Aram Mnatsakanov, general manager of chain restaurants “Probka”, Igor Baranov, first sub-dean of the Higher school of management of St. Petersburg State University, Vladimir Knyaginin, director of “Centr strategicheskikh razrabotok "Severo-Zapad”, Vadim Volkov, professor of the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University, Aleksandr Goloviznin, deputy general director of “Ust-Luga” company, Pavel Andreev, CEO of LEK company, Eduard Tiktinsky, director general of RBI holding, Leonid Vaysberg, director general of NPK “Mekhanobr-Tekhnika”, Yury Voropayev, director general of MKD holding, Denis Belov director general of “Machiavelli” chain stores and the project “”, Elena Kolovskaya, director of “the St. Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation for Culture and arts”, Sergey Slagoda, managing partner of a law firm S&K Vertikal

Discussions on the project shall be continued in autumn.

The campaign was supported by: SOLLERS Trade house (title sponsor), Aventy Company, biznes-kommunikatsiya ZERO agency, BI TO BE consulting group, Kompetens Consulting Company (official partners), Fund “Centr strategicheskikh razrabotok "Severo-Zapad”, the Higher School of Management, the European University at St.-Petersburg (EUSP) (scientific partners); Laura Special Cars Company, law firm S&K Vertikal, Paktor retail chain (official sponsors); D-Link company, SB-Consult Company (technical sponsors), RBC Daily St.-Petersburg magazine, radio station “Ekho Moskvy v Sankt-Pererburge” (media partners).

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