New quality of life – through transport development priorities (VIDEO)

The panel session “Priorities of transport development: a new quality of life” opened the third day of the 10th Gaidar Forum. The speakers of the discussion talked about the plan for spatial and economic development in relation to the development of the country geographical outreach. The conversation was moderated by Natalia Trunova, Vice President of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR).

According to the Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Vadim Zhivulin, Russia is experiencing the main trend of concentration and internal migration of the population to economic growth centers; their current number is about 20. Thus, the main task is to increase the number of centers of gravity and economic growth. Such a deliberate urbanization policy helps to attract people to other major cities in Russia.

In the global competition of cities, Russia has landmarks to achieve. "GVA (gross value added) in Moscow per capita is $17,000; it is $28,000 in Seoul, $42,000 in Tokyo, $18,000 in Shanghai, $61,000 in Paris, $69,000 in London... We have to participate in the global urban competition, and from this point of view, the focus on urban policy and urban development is largely justified. It provides the necessary breakthrough in a number of areas that will become priorities for the next few years,” explained Vadim Zhivulin.

The main mechanism contributing to the disclosure of the urban infrastructure potential is an integrated balanced development program.

“Today we are talking about the need to form meaningful comprehensive plans for the development of cities for the near future. This could be a master plan for the development of a city, in which development issues will be resolved for both infrastructure and specific areas and environments of the city,” said Vadim Zhivulin.

The Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Yevgeny Dietrich, links the spatial development of the country with the balance of the economic and social sphere.

“Transport has both a unifying infrastructural function and a function associated with economic growth. We are thinking about both centers and people who do not live in these centers representing points of growth. These people should also be provided with the necessary level of transport services. Therefore, in this balance of economic growth and social sphere, I see the basis of our activity,” said Yevgeny Dietrich.

The Minister of Transport noted that the authorities of all cities included in the Spatial Development Strategy of the country presented comprehensive plans for the development of public transport. However, the quality of the submitted documents varies considerably. Despite this, Yevgeny Dietrich hopes that by 2024 all 104 agglomerations will be proud of the transport system and developed infrastructure; yet he specified that the implementation of such a project depends on the active participation of local residents and authorities.

The plan for the modernization and expansion of the backbone infrastructure until 2024 sets the vector for the country's infrastructure development, provides for "renovation of the urban environment."

“The development of railway infrastructure is a serious driver for the development of the economy of the whole country, and the implementation of this program will enable Russian Railways to become one of the leading players in the global transport and logistics market,” said Vadim Mikhailov, first deputy general director of Russian Railways.

Such a scenario of infrastructures development and complex modernization requires serious investments. According to Vadim Mikhailov, Russian Railways start using new tools to attract investment, in particular, public-private partnerships and concessions.

Igor Shuvalov, Chairman of the VEB.RF State Development Corporation, said that the Spatial Development Strategy of the country, along with the national projects, is a fundamental document for the government” it is a document of the Prime Minister’s level.

Together with Corporation for SMEs support (MSP), DOM.RF, Russian Export Center (REC) and other corporations and traditional development institutions, in close cooperation with non-commercial education centers and innovative development institutions, VEB contributes to the development of an economically sound and high-quality strategy of infrastructure development for every family and city.

“Thanks to federal projects, a minimum standard will appear and prohibit anything that is below it, but a high standard is a willingness to fit into the race for quality of life,” said Igor Shuvalov.

The head of the Center for the Study of the Economics of Culture and Urban Development at the Lomonosov Moscow State University Sergey Kapkov touched upon the problem of the infrastructural gap between million-plus cities and small towns, as well as the applicability of the strategy goals and objectives to the heterogeneity of Russian settlements.

“It seems to me that any city should be the assembly point of each of the 12 national projects,” Sergei Kapkov commented on Russia's infrastructure development strategy until 2024. In addition, according to the expert, city-forming corporations should help cities and cooperate with local authorities for the development of local infrastructure.

Concluding the panel session, the participants in the discussion determined that infrastructure development is the top priority of the Government policy: it increases the connectivity of regions and cities, strengthens and unifies economic markets. New global cities appearing in Russia will be the epicenters of the breakthrough scientific, technological and socio-economic development.

Session experts determined the global trend: agglomeration always develops faster than the city, the city always develops faster than the region, and the region always develops faster than the country.

All records of live broadcasts from the Gaidar Forum 2019

10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.

The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru,, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.

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