Waterfront Urban Forum and Exhibition. 2019

On October 10-11, Sevkabel Port hosted the Waterfront urban forum and the exhibition of the same name

The forum dedicated to the problems of development of coastal territories opened on October 10 with a round table "Issues of using water space and coastal territories for private initiatives". It was attended by Daniil Afonin (entrepreneur, public figure, "Water Petersburg", "House on water"), Marat Aslanov (entrepreneur, yacht club "Galernaya Gavan"), Alexey Onatsko (CVO "Miles & Yards"), Anatoly Varzanov (organiser of the "Petrovsky rowing marathon"), Sergey Kovalev (economist, SPBGEU), Yana Golubeva (architect, "MLA+"), Mikhail Strakhov (head of the water resources Department of The Committee on water resources environmental management, environmental protection and environmental safety). The discussion was moderated by Daniyar Yusupov (architect, urbanist).

During a few busy hours, the participants had time to discuss all the nuances related to the use of water space and coastal territories for private initiatives, found out how much it actually costs to rent 200 square meters of water area (spoiler: very cheap), discussed why the city on the water still does not have a map that would indicate the available space for construction and lease near waterways, learned what difficulties in the field of legislation entrepreneurs and private owners who are interested in the development of coastal territories usually face, and tried to understand why government agencies often refuse to allow citizens to build houses on water.

The second section was devoted to presentations of case studies by speakers from the Nordic countries. Anne Beate Hovind (Bjorvika Utvikling, Norway) told about her current project "Future Library", implemented jointly with artist Kathy Paterson. The works selected for the project will be printed on paper created from trees that are currently growing in a special area in the Norwegian forest. The trees will be cut down in 2114 (100 years after the project started), and the works will be stored in a specially designed section of the Oslo public library until the end of the project. The second speaker —Jesper Berseus (STPLN project, Sweden) — told about the SPLIN space that has emerged on the site of former shipyards, its history and the difficulties that a creative entrepreneur can face. Jesper also spoke about the funding mechanisms for STPLN and the role of the state in this process.

On October 11, presentations of the Waterfront: neighborhood & community teams were held. Four teams that explored the selected territories (Galernaya Gavan, Okhta, a Beach in the South-West of St. Petersburg) told about their experience of communicating with local residents, about different methods of exploring the territory, what was done over the course of nine months and what plans they have for the future. After their presentations, an open discussion was held, which was attended by government representatives, city activists, initiators of private projects and forum guests.

The lecture was also given by the Danish architect Jan Utzon — the son of the famous architect Jorn Utzon, who built the Sydney Opera house. Jan spoke about the projects that he implemented with his father, about the reconstruction of the Sydney Opera house, which he is responsible for, as well as about the principles of the Utzon Associates Architects Bureau (Denmark) and the Utzon Foundation, which supports young architects. This was Jan's first visit to Saint Petersburg.

The highlight of the forum was the opening of the Waterfront urban research exhibition, the exposition of which was located in four cargo containers (one for each team) in the parking lot of Sevkabel Port. At the exhibition, one could see the results of the teams' work and clearly trace all its stages, as well as learn more about the methods that participants used in the course of their research.

The forum and exhibition are organised by the Waterfront project in collaboration with the Street Art Research Institute and the Danish Cultural Institute.

Producers of the Waterfront project: Albina Motor (Street Art Research Institute), Andrey Anisimov (Danish Cultural Institute). Curator of the exhibition: Dmitry Pilikin.