The Future of Our Towns Project: the Open International Competition for the Development of a Master Plan for Durbent Urban District (Russia) has started

26 June, 2019

On June 25 at the TASS press center, the Open International Competition for the Development of a Master Plan for Derbent Urban District (Russia) was started. It is part of a program for the development of one of the oldest towns in the country. The competition is taking place on the initiative of the I Love Derbent Charity Fund, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Dagestan and the Administration of Derbent Urban District. The Agency for Strategic Development CENTER is serving as operator and design consultant for the competition.

The competition will run until the middle of November and will consist of two stages. Acceptance of entries to the contest is open until a month from now, July 22, after which a jury chaired by Head of the Republic of Dagestan Vladimir Vasiliev will choose and announce the finalists, who will then begin work on their master plans for Derbent and concepts for the town’s embankment. The winners will be announced following the final meeting of the jury on November 19.

The master plan developed by the competitors will be an important document which will determine the direction of socio-economic and geographical development of Derbent in the medium term. Its implementation will support Derbent’s internal transformation, the integration of the town with global processes, and an improvement in the efficiency of the use of the town’s resources.

Nezir GuseynovChairman of the Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of the Republic of Dagestan

The master plan will reveal the needed and necessary economic assets for the Republic and for the town of Derbent that we have not thought about up to now. An important factor will be work with the community, a significant and necessary aspect of our work. We should not simply approach the people with a design already prepared and present it to them as a fact, that it is the design we will be building. We will communicate with the residents of Derbent, explain every step, and agree it with the people. In that, we will establish a relationship of trust

According to Derbent mayor Khizri Abakarov, proposals for the development of the master plan should be based on the creation of walking routes, which will enable the development of historical tourism in the town, which is home to many landmarks on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Competitors will also need to develop a concept for the development of the central public space of Derbent, the town’s embankment, which runs for 12 km along the Caspian Sea.

Khizri AbakarovHead of Derbent Urban District

Today we face the task of making the town attractive to tourists. We want Derbent to become a symbol of the south not only of Dagestan, but of all of Russia, so that Russians take pride in the fact that our country is home to such an ancient, historic town

The foundation of the competition task is a public analytical study, conducted by experts from CENTER Agency, the “Comprehensive Evaluation of the Development Potential of Derbent Urban District, Republic of Dagestan”. The work was aimed at the release of concrete scenarios for the development of the urban district, taking into account its supply of resources and areas of economic specialization. The experts came to the conclusion that the most suitable model for Derbent is that of a “viable town,” a town which has been able to develop under constantly-changing external conditions and adapt itself in the face of internal and external challenges, acquiring new, high-quality characteristics.

Isa Magomedovleader of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Derbent Urban District

The most relevant concept for the development of the town is that of the viable town, which has been able to withstand economic and social crises. That is how we want to make Derbent.

The work of the competitors will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary jury which will be lead by Vladimir Vasiliev, Head of the Republic of Dagestan. The jury will include representatives of the Government of the Republic of Dagestan, the administration of Derbent, and the business community, and also recognized experts in the fields of economics, tourism, urban studies, architecture, and the preservation of cultural heritage. Members of the Civic Chamber will also take part in the evaluation of the work. The Civic Chamber is a consultative-advisory body composed of authoritative representatives of the community of the Republic of Dagestan in the fields of culture, politics, sport, and religion.

Sergei GeorgievskiiHead of the Organizing Committee of the Competition, CEO of the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER

We are certain that the international competition is an opportunity for Derbent and the Republic of Dagestan to receive unique designs created in accordance with international standards which simultaneously take into account the context of the territory. We have invited the participation of leaders in the field: Russian and foreign companies which specialize in the strategic development of territories and urban planning and architecture, and who have or are able to attract to their teams specialists in the fields of economics, financial modeling, and content programming. Our experience has shown that the international consortia which are formed as a result of such association are able to present solutions which are uncon-ventional, but at the same time maximally adapted to the realities of the town

Broadcast recording from press conference available on the official YouTube channel via link.