Archive for August 23rd, 2012

Vladivostok is City of Bridges Now – Russian Pacific Outpost Opening a New Page in Its History

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

An open discussion on the subject “Vladivostok after the Summit” was held in the capital of Primorie before the upcoming forum of the APEC member countries. According to Russian and foreign experts, a unique bridge over the Eastern Bosphorus Strait will have an outstanding role in further development of the city by the sea.

The first foreign delegations are already arriving at the Russky Island on the eve of the APEC Summit. Primorie Region will present 20 large-scale investment projects at the international forum. They are mainly aimed at developing the port and logistic infrastructures, light aircraft operation facilities, shipbuilding and agriculture, as well as “Large Vladivostok”, technopark, and integrated “Primorie” resort area construction projects. The experts set store on the world largest stay cable bridge, which has connected Vladivostok mainland part to the Russky Island, in future development of the Pacific capital of Russia.

“Russky is quite a big island with a surface area of about 100 square kilometers. This is certainly a promising area of Vladivostok right now,” remarks Vladimir Miklushevsky, Governor or Primorie. “That will be a comfortable area of Vladivostok, very good for living in. Children will go to school here, then to the university, so they won’t need to travel anywhere. Regarding the rest of the island territory, it is planned to keep it as an area for tourism and recreational activities. Only the coastal zone will be developed where boarding houses and resort facilities will be built. The natural environment of the island must be preserved for future generations.”

A public commission is intensively working on acceptance of the APEC Summit facilities in Vladivostok on the initiative of Governor or Primorie. It does not duplicate the activities of numerous inspection and regulatory authorities. The main objective of the commission is to assess the degree of fitness of the new facilities to everyday life requirements. The working group will report the findings to the Governor before September 20. The bridge to the Russky Island was among the first facilities to pass the public acceptance. It is the unanimous expert opinion that Vladivostok residents rightly appreciate the benefits of the stay cable bridge over the Eastern Bosphorus Strait, and the traffic has been of up to 7 thousand vehicles per day from the first days of operation of the facility. And this is in no way a limit.

As part of the open discussion “Vladivostok after the Summit,” a well-known urban development expert, Josep Acebilio, Doctor of Architecture, gave a presentation “New Urban Paradigms.” He has been repeatedly invited as a consultant in urban development of various cities including London and Kazan. Doctor Josep Acebilio had prepared Barcelona, Spain, for the Olympic Games, after which he incorporated the new facilities in the infrastructure to turn the city into one of the icons of urbanism in the world. The master complained that the overcast weather had accompanied him during his tour of Vladivostok.
“However, even with a low-key lighting, you can see the amazing beauty of the city terrain. For example, the bridge over the Eastern Bosphorus Strait looks very nice, and the university buildings do not downrate the surrounding landscape of the Russky Island. Unfortunately that does not apply to other city areas where the buildings do not stay in harmony with the environment. Vladivostok is a unique city, but it is a very hard place for an architect to work because it calls for out of the box unorthodox urban development concepts.”

One of the main objectives of the open discussion dedicated to the future of the capital of Primorie is to attract specialists with authority, whose great expertise and vast experience will help in preparation of a program of development for Vladivostok after the APEC Summit. The city has to become modern and comfortable for living in.

“Vladivostok is inherently unique because not many cities in the world could boast such a harbor and bays. Look at any photograph or a tourist booklet: if there is a bridge in town, it will be there all right. A bridge is a kind of a monument, an architectural landmark of the city, an accomplishment of the residents. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, New York has the Brooklyn Bridge, and Hong Kong has the Stonecutters Bridge,” presents his opinion Aleksey Baranov, Director of the OJSC USK MOST Branch in Vladivostok. And there is one more indisputable advantage, which is merely practical. By linking the mainland to the Russky Island, the bridge will offer new development potentials.” Many Russian cities including Vladivostok have suffered the lack of style because building development changed in different periods and under different governments and cultural trends without giving much thought to consistency. At the same time, the face of a city must be planned well once and for all, and only in such case the city can look nice. The city can in no way afford to rebuild the existing neighborhoods. There is a chance though to start from scratch on the Russky Island with the result that a large and consistently developed area with a great outlook for expansion could be put in place.

Photo by Igor Lischuk / SK MOST