Density takes on some peculiar features in post-soviet towns. They have inherited a building heritage that is inadequate and outdated and where houses are chronically overcrowded and whose dimensions are far below western standards whereas population’s expectations have changed. Residential settlements, mainly composed of medium-tall and large buildings, are densely populated, but this density is inside the single buildings. On the contrary, the urban design of residential areas still maintains large empty, almost dispersive spaces. With the exception of the Stalin period criteria, still aiming at building a continuous and compact image of the town – even though on a giant scale – the residential building programs of Krusev, Breznev etc. gave a lesser importance to the figurative aspect of buildings and designed districts whose public and green spaces are extremely large and strictly repetitive. Thus the rajon, the district unit, is strengthened, strongly defined by the same dimensions, functions and image itself, that will determine the essential uniformity of the urban aspect of all soviet towns. It is essentially a super-quadra surrounded by big crossing roads and with its own sport facilities, maternal and primary schools, situated more or less in the centre and immersed in large green but empty space, that significantly separates buildings that are bare, large, equal to each other and completely deprived from any kind of mixed use. The opening and access to the market by a strong and urgent demand has not involved any significant changes in either the typological offer or urban models. From a typological viewpoint new residential buildings are larger, whereas form a urban viewpoint the rajon model is still present but it is also accompanied by an uncontrolled urbanization, with the occupation of entire areas according exclusively to extensive criteria that respond to market requirements; this development is guided by big developers and it is carried out without any development plan, thus resulting in a poor and uniform offer both from an architectural and urban point of view. The tradition of a centralised planning, mainly concerned with quantity, is so deeply rooted even among population that it is difficult to introduce and experiment different criteria, such as a compact town, the mixed functions, energy efficiency, a pluralist offer, sustainable mobility etc. These are the themes developed in the Strategic Master plan for Perm by KCAP Architects&Planners and that strive to be understood and appreciated by citizens and for which often a compromise is found, for example in the new satellite towns of Akademija in Ekaterinburg or Sunny Valley in Cheliabynsk, built by the biggest Russian corporation with the planning of French or English groups. The proposed case study is the Megapolis Minsk Masterplan that is being elaborated by LP Studio and where the proposed housing is one of the main instruments to shape the new image of the town; in this plan three new satellite towns have been designed according to such criteria as context and identity, pluralist offer, complexity and richness of relations and functions, interaction with landscape and infrastructures, energy awareness, all included in the rajon tradition to give birth to innovative configurations for Belorussia still recognised and assimilable by citizens and administrators.
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|Titolo:||Density. New frontier for post-soviet urbanism. Minsk Case Study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|