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Skolkovo on New Cities

Skolkovo on New Cities

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Notes on the New Cities Foundation and their New Cities Summit in Paris by Seda Pumpyanskaya, Vice President International Relations and Communications, Skolkovo Foundation.
Notes on the New Cities Foundation and their New Cities Summit in Paris by Seda Pumpyanskaya, Vice President International Relations and Communications, Skolkovo Foundation.

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Published by: New Cities Foundation on Apr 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/23/2012

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Notes from Skolkovo
In the United States, in the 1960s, the concept of the master planned communitytook on a decidedly negative image: Homogenous, bland designs, monuments tourban sprawl.But since then, and partic
ularly recently, “master planned”
has been replaced by the
idea of “smart” communities and “new”cities, architecturally inspired, energy
efficient, with a comprehensive emphasis on the technology infrastructure to makethem all run smoothly. Suddenly, New Cities and Smart Communities are cool, derigueur -- a white hot trend that offers big-time opportunities and challenges forurban growth experts, technology infrastructure engineers, architects, constructionworkers, materials providers and hundreds of other industries. They are enormousundertakings with giant economic, developmental and social ramifications the likesof which the global population has never seen. But how to plan them? How to makethem efficient, thriving, sustainable, supportive and scalable?These are massive pro
jects with massive potential. By 2050, the world’s urban
population will double to 7 billion people. The New Cities Summit in Paris next month will bring together 800 global decision makers, including mayors, CEOs,academics, researchers, entrepreneurs a
nd visionaries. We’ll discuss the themesI’ve mentioned before, along with transportation, water, green architecture all in aneffort not to just to support the world’s peoples, but to give us all the ability to
thrive. Real issues, real opportunities that will lead to real results.The New Cities Foundation says the scale and pace of 21
st 
century urbanization issimply unprecedented; that in the coming decades urban development will exceedthe urban growth of the past 200 years. Construction in India and China is
staggering. And we’re not talking about hundreds of homes here, and several office
buildings there. This is about thousands of 
cities
being planned and built that willhouse millions of people and play host to thousands of companies drivingeconomies all over the world. Humankind has never seen growth and expansion at this pace; planning is critically important.
That’s where sustainability comes in: Not in an energy efficient kind of way, but 
what will keep these new cities alive? What will allow for the kind of economicexpansion and opportunities that keep residents from migrating to another smart community elsewhere?One intriguing development already underway can be found outside Moscow. Think of Russian planned communities from the 1950s and 1960s and you probably seemonolithic, gigantic buildings that seem like human warehouses. We can find thesame kinds of developments in the United States, and China, and communitiesthroughout Europe and South America. Skolkovo is anything but. On the other sideof the spectrum are those ultra-modern, ultra-urban, shiny, slick science and

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