Grand Prix Biennale Moskou 2010
Background of an unknown city
With 1 million inhabitants and a size of 800km2 Perm is the sixth-largest city in Russia. The city grew to its current large size in the Soviet era, whereby the mining of metals and the arms industry were the foundation for the rapid growth. The spatial framework for the urban development is an open-meshed grid with high rise housing blocks from the days of Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Recent changes are being fed by hyper capitalism resulting in increased car ownership and usage, large indoor shopping malls and fields full of detached houses. In the Russian demographic trend of shrinkage the physical growth of the city leads to the thinning and deterioration of the existing urban fabric.
Concentration in the existing city
The essence of the Master Plan, as it was jointly developed by HOSPER and KCAP, lies in specifying the existing qualities and the main outlines for improvements. The leading principle in all strategies in the Master Plan is the concentration of developments in and around the central part of the city. The urban strategies consist of programme-based clustering and mix, linked to reduction of building volume and a new hierarchy in the street pattern.
Landscape as a structural element
In addition to an urban approach for specifying the geographical core of Perm, the landscape characteristics also provide a hold. The city is located on a higher plateau, bordered by the River Kama and intersected by numerous valleys with meltwater streams. An important strategy is to give these neglected valleys renewed quality. A set of generic rules is created to ensure that building fronts are facing the green areas. The construction of a specifically arranged route along the upper ridges of the plateau connects the urban fabric to the valleys, thus creating the possibility of accessing the green areas from the neighbourhood. Another part of the Master Plan comprises a Green Belt around the total urban area of Perm, whereby the area on the north side of the Kama is designed as an example for sustainable territorial development.
Investing in public space
The Master Plan outlines the optimal scenario for this city: The quality of life increases exponentially when reduction in the existing urban fabric goes hand-in-hand with investments in green and public spaces. In addition, more functions will keep more people tied to the city. This will increase the dynamic and activity in the city, reinforce public transport and ensure that the public facilities are used more.The Master Plan defines the main city boulevards, the Long Lines (east-west connections) and the Radials (from the plateau in the direction of the river) and gives them a new lay-out. This means: a consistently applied profile with as its basis clear sidewalks on both sides and a central strip for a separate tram and bus route flanked by large trees. The Master Plan also proposes to connect the valleys directly east and west of the centre, ending at the river Kama, by means of contiguous routes along the riverbank. Thus creating a continues green ring, the Green Loop.