An International Parks Forum has been held in Volgograd
On August 9 and 10, Volgograd hosted an International Parks Forum (IPF) – a platform which united leaders of local governments, park managers, landscape designers, urban construction experts, architects and project designers from Moscow, regions of the Russian Federation, the CIS countries and Europe.
The International Parks Forum is a biennial event, its main goal being an experience exchange between the leading experts of the parks community and the city governments, together with the promotion of open-air recreation and the culture of it. The event’s program included a business part in the “Volgograd” Hotel’s conference hall and a tour of the Mamay Hill. The second day was dedicated to Volgograd embankment and the adjacent park zone. For the reporters of federal, regional and Moscow media, a press-tour was organized.
“We are glad that Volgograd is on a par with such cities as Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kazan, that have been using cutting-edge technologies for building a comfortable urban environment for several years already,” says Vitaly Likhachev, the Mayor of Volgograd and the chair of the IPF organizing committee.
Among the professionals who came to Russia for the first time with exclusive reports to be delivered during the Forum in Volgograd, there were the curator of the famous Spanish park Güell Gabino Carballo, the technical manager of the Coastal Environment Department of Barcelona City Hall Lucia Cuesta, a project designer and chief architect “Appia Antica” regional park in Rome Simona Messina, as well as the chief engineer of the “Minskzelenstroy” unitary enterprise Vladimir Babivsky. The other key speakers were the Director of “Sokolniki” Central Park of Culture and Recreation Andrey Lapshin, Director of the “Tsaritsyno” museum reserve Elizaveta Fokina, Deputy Director General of the “VDNKh” Vitaly Emmanuilov, Director of the “Parks Association” non-profit organization Denis Tsukanov, managers of the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Recreation in Moscow, “Zaryadye” Park and numerous other experts. In total, the International Parks Forum featured about 200 participants from four countries, Russia included.
With the Forum’s frame, its participants exchanged their experience of developing the parks industry and infrastructure, with the main bulk of attention being paid to the organization of recreational activities in the open spaces.
“I enjoyed Volgograd very much: its city parks give off the vibes of aeriality and spaciousness. After taking a stroll along its streets and parks, I had an impression that the city management is truly concerned about making the environment comfortable. I also liked the special attention that’s being paid here to the greenery – they are accounted for, well-cared,” elaborates the Director of the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University “Apothecary garden”Aleksey Reomur.
Since 2015, over 30 parks and public spaces (with their overall area exceeding 280 hectares) all across Volgograd’s districts have been improved and upgraded by the city administration and regional government. One of them, the upper terrace of the embankment, where a major reconstruction has only ended this year, has become a popular place for concerts, sport festivals, competitions among the representatives of youth subcultures, festivals and other events to be held from May to September.
At this, as emphasized by Vitaly Likhachev, the main attention is steadily paid to green space expansion, because Volgograd is located in the region of steppes and semi-deserts.
During that time, more than 30 thousand seedlings have been planted, 10 new fountains have been erected and 150 thousand square meters of pedestrian lanes and areas have been restored.