Made in Kazan – Master Classes – Changing Things For the Better
Made in Kazan, a two-day programme of master classes by prominent international urbanists, has been going in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in Russia.
Over the last several days Kazan has hosted the fifth edition of the educational forum, which is devoted to the issues of urbanisation, urban public transport, branding and tourism marketing.
Urbanists and experts, including former and current mayors of some of the world’s major cities have taken part, with participants that have come from the United States, Great Britain, France, Greece, Spain, Singapore, India and South Africa to join in this endeavor. The following are a few of the speakers that participated this year.
Richard Florida – Author of the concept “Creative Class”.
Florida is best known for his concept of the creative class and its implications for urban regeneration. This idea was expressed in Florida’s best-selling books The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class. A book focusing on the issues surrounding urban renewal and talent migration, titledWho’s Your City?, was recently published.
Florida’s theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of technology workers, artists, musicians, and a group he describes as “high bohemians”, exhibit a higher level of economic development. Florida refers to these groups collectively as the “creative class.” He posits that the creative class fosters an open, dynamic, personal and professional urban environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. He suggests that attracting and retaining high-quality talent versus a singular focus on projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, would be a better primary use of a city’s regeneration of resources for long-term prosperity. See more here.
Vukan R. Vuchic – Author of “Transportation for Livable Cities”
Vukan R. Vuchic also spoke in one of the master classes, he is a public transport expert, along with being professor of the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Vuchic has published more than 130 papers in highly respected journals. One of Professor Vuchic’s most important contributions are his widely used textbooks. Vuchic’s “Urban Transit Systems and Technology” is THE technical resource for researchers and practitioners. In 1999, Vuchic published “Transportation for Livable Cities”, introducing the now well-understood relationship between transportation systems and urban quality of life. In 2004, the last component of his “transit trilogy” – “Urban Transit Operations, Planning and Economics” – was published. These texts have become the most widely-used resources in teaching public transportation planning and engineering
Another speaker at the form was Ken Livingstone the twice elected Mayor of London, he did this under his own independent banner after falling out with Tony Blair, he is one of the few figures in British politics to be routinely referred to by his first name.
His way with a provocative sound-bites which propelled him to national prominence from the gray world of local government, but it has also got him into a lot of hot water over the years. This lead him to write his autobiography called, “You Can’t Say That.”
In an effort to improve relations with the Muslim world he welcomed the controversial Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who remitted the suicide bombings, on London in 2005. In doing so he has was severely criticized for the decision. Today he remains popular in left-wing circles as one of the few genuine socialists to have achieved real power in the UK – but he had largely disappeared from the political scene.
In addition, in attendance was the Mayor of the city of Nouakchott (Mauritania) Fatima Abdelmalik, Mayor of Victoria (Seychelles) Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, the mayor of Johannesburg (South Africa) Park Tau, vice-mayor of Paris, Patrick Klugman and others. Each of them sharing about the most interesting urban and community projects in their cities.
Made In Kazan has been held since 2010, over which time six projects including training courses and expert classes, attended by nearly four thousand people, have been held. Over the course of years fifty experts from 6 countries have come and shared their ideas on urban planning.