COMPACT CITY. Fair and efficient urban development: a ‘compact city’ concept for Belarus (2017)

Project reference

Project title: Fair and efficient urban development: a ‘compact city’ concept for Belarus

Project duration: February 2017 – September 2017

Project funding: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Background

Previous studies revealed that hidden urban sprawl takes place in agglomeration ring of Minsk with 1 million m2 dwellings recently built in the capital’s nearby villages. According to the latest news, Belarus authorities urged to stop development of Minsk agglomeration ring and to use more efficient the opportunities of urban development within the city. However, current Belarus urban development policy is based on a Soviet-type urban planning tradition using a micro-districts approach, which produces great amount of problems in itself and requires introduction of a fresh look. CASE Belarus’ research shows that current urban sprawl in Belarus is inefficient and creates high costs for the society due to:

  • high infrastructure development costs
  • high opportunity costs of municipal land
  • high external costs for inhabitants: non-livable urban environment within Soviet-style micro-districts, high mobility costs, and other non-direct costs (pollution, road accidents, safety, etc)

Objectives

The overall goal of the study is to support state and non-state actors in shifting to citizen-friendly and efficient urban development.

The specific objectives are the following:

  1. To review methodology of urban development cost-and-benefit analysis and world’s best practices in the field;
  2. To perform a study of dependences between quality of life and deferent urban factors (dwellings’ density, mobility costs, etc) in Minsk;
  3. To provide relevant stakeholders with results of the study and policy recommendations;
  4. To place the topic of efficient urban planning on the political and media agenda.

Expected results

  1. Comprehensive review of methodology of urban development cost-and-benefit analysis as well as collection of best practices created,
  2. An econometric analysis of dwellings’ density impact on quality of life in Minsk residential areas run,
  3. A set of policy recommendations as for cost-and-benefit analyses and influence of different factors on urban development prepared;
  4. Awareness of the stakeholders and broad public on the efficient urban development is raised via direct communication, distribution of printed materials and publications in media.

Public events

  • March 1, 2017. The Compact City open lecture in Minsk, Belarus. The presentation by Andrei Golovin took place to present the concept of “a compact city” along with the practical solutions implemented currently in Russian Federation.
  • September 2017. Study results presentation in Minsk, Belarus.
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