In July 2020, a conference of the International Planning History Society (IPHS) will take place in Moscow for the first time. One of the most respected business events in the field of urban studies, the conference is held every two years in different cities across the world. The IPHS was convinced to choose Moscow thanks to the efforts of a large team of specialists, including the Russian Convention Bureau.
The architecture of business tourism
The decision to hold the IPHS conference in Moscow was taken at a meeting of the Societys programme committee in Yokohama (Japan) on 15 July 2018. This time, the theme of the event, which usually attracts as many as a thousand professionals from all over the world, will be City Space Transformation: Renovation of the Urban Environment.
In addition to the Russian capital, Lübeck in Germany and Oslo, the capital of Norway, were also in the running to host this prestigious event but Moscow came out on top. President of the Concord Group Natalya Yevnevich, who championed the project before the international society, made no attempt to hide her joy: «I feel a great deal of satisfaction when I think about the work we did to prepare the bid, submit it, and finally present it to the IPHS Council. We have been on this journey for almost a year, and it has now come to a successful close.» Concord was chosen as the operator for the IPHS conference, but, as Yevnevich says, its success was made possible by the involvement of its partners, who contributed to the project at various stages, putting forward new ideas and possibilities.
The fundamental academic expertise needed to support the Russian bid was provided throughout by the Moscow Architectural Institute and Moscow State University. The Russian architects were able to show that the Russian capital has enjoyed some real successes in town planning and preserving its built heritage. As Dr Alexey Krasheninnikov, President of the Russian Bid Committee, Director of the Centre for Urban Studies at the Moscow Architectural Institute, and Professor in the Town Planning Faculty, assured us: «It was precisely the way that we have preserved and then renovated architectural monuments in our city in recent years while faced with rapid transformation of the urban space which motivated the decision in favour of Moscow.» Dr Krasheninnikov believes that the experience of the Centre for Urban Studies will be in demand once more when the conferences academic programme is being prepared.
Moscow State University also put forward some interesting ideas about how to vary the IPHSs traditional conference format. «For instance, we suggested an addition to the classic conference programme: a youth programme held in parallel with the main conference, including a competition for architectural projects and a youth forum», explained the Director of Moscow State Universitys Science Festival Leonid Gusev. «We need to broaden our horizons to hold the best possible conference!»
Direct benefits and potential developments
The Russian Convention Bureau has also helped to broaden horizons. Supported by the Roscongress Foundation, it promotes Russia as a potential venue for events. The involvement of an organization like the Convention Bureau is a guarantee that preparations for the conference will be carried out with the utmost professionalism.
Taking into account the IPHSs planned budget of RUB 34 million, the expected economic impact of the event in 2020 could amount to as much as RUB 129 million, with another RUB 19.6 million of anticipated tax revenue.
However, these direct benefits are not the only factor to be considered. International exchange stimulates many different sectors of the economy, mostly as a result of the import and export of new knowledge, technologies, and solutions, believes Alexey Kalachev, Director of the Convention Bureau. It can also lead to the construction of new urban infrastructure, as well as social, cultural, tourism, and sports facilities. All this paves the way for urban development in cities and regions. A joint session on this issue will be organized by the Convention Bureau, VEB and ASI during EEF 2018.
Of course, participating in the tender to host the IPHS conference is not the only project the Convention Bureau is working on. «We currently have eight bids in progress to hold international events for various sectors and academic disciplines», says Kalachev. The Bureau is simultaneously preparing bids for more than 50 other events. If it manages to attract even a fraction of these events to Russia, that will be a real stimulus for further development.
Deputy Head of the Department of External Economic and International Relations of the City of Moscow:
Over the last few years, Moscow has become a suitable venue for hosting prestigious international conferences and exhibitions, and possesses all the infrastructure required to hold this particular conference. Many international events on various themes take place in the capital. The Department of External Economic and International Relations of the City of Moscow supports the hosting of this 2020 international conference on the history of town planning, and is happy to provide any assistance it can.
Corporate Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects:
The theme of regional urban development is one of the topics on the Agency for Strategic Initiatives current agenda. Regional development is a multifaceted task which involves finding solutions to many problems affecting all areas of peoples lives. The Agency has developed a unique way of effectively exchanging best practice in regional development: our successful solutions brochure, a collection of examples of successful solutions to urgent social and economic problems in the regions. Projects which have been successfully implemented in one region are described and broken down step-by-step so they can subsequently be replicated in other regions. Our intention is to provide a fresh stimulus for regional development, including promoting the regions as venues for conferences, exhibitions, and tourism.
Text: Olga CHERVINSKAYA
Source: EEF 2018 Official Magazine