For the right to bear the proud status of a green city, the most famous megacities in the world have been fighting for many years: from the Brazilian Curitiba to Moscow. International experts awarded it to the capital of Russia three years ago. But what about the regions? Will experts and, most importantly, residents be able to call the industrial center of the country the greenest city? The experience of Chelyabinsk shows that this is possible.
Everyone wants to live in such a city: stroll through parks and squares, breathe fresh air, ride a bike to work, relax in the shade of trees on a cozy playground. Every year, when compiling the rating of green cities, experts analyze the state of the environment in more than a hundred megacities. Scientists are constantly making new proposals for assessing green areas, because the usual citywide indicators and building codes quickly become outdated and do not take into account some of the nuances. For example, it happens that there is a lot of greenery, but on the outskirts, and the center resembles a "concrete bag" or vice versa. And the quality of green spaces with this approach is also not taken into account. Therefore, it is important not only to correct mistakes in the struggle for beautiful status, but also to take them into account at the planning stage.
In recent years, hundreds of hectares of land have been transferred to parks in Chelyabinsk - the task of developing recreational areas was set by the head of the city, Natalya Kotova. After that, the necessary documentation was developed, suggesting building regulations and zoning of the territory. Some of the decisions that assumed multi-storey residential development on the green strip had to be changed. Priorities in the situation of “cutting down cannot be saved” were set by local authorities in favor of residents and nature.
As an example, one of the microdistricts in the north-west of Chelyabinsk can be cited, where a whole sports city will soon grow, surrounded by forest. A training center for the Olympic reserve in hockey, a sports and recreation center with a swimming pool, a medical rehabilitation center, a ski track and a comprehensive school with a football stadium will be built here. Such facilities are sorely lacking for the citizens. Previously, one could only dream of this, because according to the documentation for the planning of the territory of the 19th microdistrict, developed and adopted in 2012, only multi-storey buildings were supposed to be in this place. And there was no question of saving trees! The new approach made it possible to preserve and create more than 110 hectares of recreational green areas, taking into account compensatory planting on empty plots.
“There was a period when Chelyabinsk was built up chaotically, so we systematized the development in the master plan and created a green frame strategy,” says Pavel Krutolapov, chief architect of Chelyabinsk. - The priority for the creation of the green frame of the metropolis is also regulated by the Strategy for the socio-economic development of the city. There was an opportunity to act systematically. The documents also provide for the creation of new spaces. So, for example, the length of the Miass River within the city is tens of kilometers. When the embankment improvement project (the length of the two-sided embankment will be 60 km) is fully implemented, it will become a “green” corridor (a cascade of green recreational areas) between the two main green cores of the frame - Kashtaksky and Shershnevsky forests. This will be an absolute record in Russia.”
Pavel Krutolapov also noted that today the city authorities have learned to conduct a "green" dialogue not only with residents, but also with developers. We fix the trend in new projects to create a comfortable environment with full-fledged green areas near new buildings. This approach enhances the competitiveness of their residential real estate. In addition, developers appreciated that the authorities offered them clear rules of the game, where there is a clear understanding of where the city is moving, and therefore it becomes easier to plan their business strategies.
All this together has already led to the fact that over the past three years 110 squares and parks have appeared in Chelyabinsk, and there is no doubt that every year there will be more of them.