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DPZ Europe

SARATOW, Russian Federation

Location: City of Saratow, Russian Federation
Type: City Zoning Code (form-based)
Year: 2017
Status: In Progress
Size: 37,800 ha.
Planning: DPZ-Europe and Strelka KB

The federal agency responsible for funding mortgages in the Russian Federation is sponsoring a new program which is intended to set new standards for housing and urban development. The goal is to fund a huge new housing program which will meet the requirements and best-practice standards in a sustainable manner.

The agency has contracted the consulting firm StrelkaKB to conduct research into new housing standards as well as urban design. It was decided that the practice of building huge mono-function dormitory cities has failed and that new concepts and ideas were needed.

StrelkaKB contracted DPZ-Europe as an urban design and masterplanning consultant for this project. In addition to providing information about US and German housing standards, DPZ-Europe was intensely involved with StrelkaKB in developing the basis of a SmartCode for the Russian Federation which would then be calibrated to take into account the different climate, culture, urban morphologies found throughout the Federation. The City of Saratow (population ca. one million) was chosen as the first city to be studied in detail.

The Strlka/DPZ team visited the city, analysed traffic patterns, neighbourhood patterns, as well as the different urban morphologies built at different times in the past as well as current developments under construction.

An analysis comparing the current city zoning code (based on land use) with the 3-dimensional pattern showed why the post 1917 urbanism does not work: there is no concept as to how to develop both sides of the street into as a well designed public space.

In order to correct this, the team developed a new zoning atlas based upon the SmartCode which requires development based on 3-dimensional urban principles, not on 2-dimension land uses. It also simplifies the zoning code, reducing the number of zones fro 75 to 9, as well as streamlines the permitting process, thus encouraging economic investment and development.

The project is currently under review for adoption by the government.

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