The projects are located in the Russian State Research and Design Institute of Urbanistic in St. Petersburg. They are a logical development of an earlier implemented UN-HABITAT Sustainable Cities Programme project in the cities of Leningrad region. One project is dealing with two different historic cities in other regions of Russia. Its aim is to improve the quality of life for the population of historic cities based on the improved institutional base of sustainable development which could be achieved through:
- A more efficient use of local historic/cultural potential;
- Prevention of environmental degradation;
- Reduction of ecological and economic risks; and
- Study and replication of national and international experience in planning and management of historic towns for sustainable development.
The second part of the project is aimed at making UN-HABITAT's Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) manuals available in the Russian language to cities and local authorities. They are to be adapted to the context of the Russian Federation and include additional chapters with the findings gained in the course of SCP project implementation since 1998. One more objective of the project is the creation of an electronic facility to be used for training and dissemination of information on sustainable urban development, urban management and capacity building.
The project is implemented in close collaboration with the core team in the project implementing institute in St. Petersburg and cities' administrations and other stakeholders in the two demonstration cities. During the first year more activities have been concentrated in the city of Pskov, which is more advanced and better prepared for project implementation, while active preparation work is on-going in the city of Tobolsk. Two workshops that were held this year contributed to capacity-building in the cities and to dissemination of information through the Internet about the project and its progress, as well as about the methods and tools originally developed by UN-HABITAT and adapted by the institute to Russian conditions. A study tour is being planned to enrich the project with examples of best practices in management from other historical cities. Other activities include drafting and launching of the electronic facility, selection, translation and editing of manuals, including drafting of new chapters.
- Workshop on aims, objectives, and work plan of project and allocation of responsibilities between the project participants.
- Drafting and launching of a Web site by the core project office. Workshop on "Monitoring Sustainable City Development".
- Working plans elaborated and project offices established in Pskov and Tobolsk.
- Guidelines on Strategic City Plan implementation in Pskov were prepared.
- Strategic City Plan Implementation Agency established in Pskov.
- Translation, editing of SCP manuals completed, new chapters reflecting the institute findings are being drafted.
When completed, the project will increase awareness of strategic planning to achieve sustainable urban development using the specific potential of the historic cities as one of the tools. Advanced methods to address the challenges of sustainable city development in the context of historic cities will become available to local authorities of the interested cities and different stakeholders. Cities will gain methodological support in strategic city planning and capacity building. Through published manuals and the electronic facility, best practices and lessons learned from Russia's historic cities will be available for replication in other cities.