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Will be a special issue of the international journal Olimpic reporter (2077)
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Sochi-2014: Olympic arithmetics (2005)
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City for life or place for party?

6 (2009)
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It is possible to consider the Olympic Games-2014 to be the author of the new Sochi general layout by right.

Experts have called general layout of the future Olympic capital development the most long-awaited strategic document for the last two decades. For about 20 years the seaside city has been suffocating with the mass of problems: chaotic building, the transport collapse, the worn out communications, the pressure of capital developers to whom local authorities conceded the most delicious plots of the resort paradise.

It is not known, for how long it could last, if there were not a victory of the Olympic Russian application in Guatemala: the presence of a general layout of the development of the city, ready to hold the Olympic Games, is an immutable condition of the IOC.

Urbi et orbi

The main purpose proclaimed in the new general layout is a transformation of Sochi into the modern highly effective health resort, business, sports and tourist centre of world level. Its realisation will be accompanied by creation of conditions for a stable development of territory and improvement of quality of life of the population, developers are assured. — The general layout completely considers all previous experience of working out of the town-planning documentation, and all historical stages of development and city-resort formation, — the chief of architecture department of Krasnodar region Vladimir Vasilenko assures. — Practice shows, that investors are ready to invest in recreational areas.

Hectares and metres

The decision of «housing problem» is presented in the new general layout in twenty five years' prospect. For the next seven years building volumes in the city will reach 500–700 thousand sq. metres a year, and housing supply will grow from 18 to 22 sq. metres. By 2032 the personal space of each inhabitant of Sochi will make already 32 metres, and all existing available housing will increase from 7330 to 20080 sq. metres.

The borders of city line will change: at the expense of reduction of the former farmlands and State forest fund, Sochi will expand from 17 677 to 22 236 hectares.

— Territorial planning, everything that is connected with the land, is politics and economics, — vice-president Russian Academy of Architecture and Building, the honoured architect of Rus-siaYury Sdobnov explains. — For 25 years many things can change: political vector, power position, and, possibly, the power itself. Therefore, many disputable items the general layout are not necessary to be discussed now.

Noone is left out?

The development of the Big Sochi as the world tourist centre, according to the general layout, is based on formation of eight resort areas: Magri, Lazarevskoye, Golovinka, Sochi-centre, Hosta, Kudepsta, Adler and Krasnaya Polyana. Total camping capacity should grow by 2032 up to 220 thousand places. The number of health-resort visitors by this time will reach eight millions. However, great plans and the state scope of the city authorities have got cold response.

— The Sochi administration has set aside too much land for building, both private, and multi-storeyed, — considers the director of analytical department of the company «Vegas-Leks CIS» Maxim Chernigovsky. — thus the municipal economy of Sochi is in critical situation, communal networks are overloaded, roads are overfilled. And if general layout acceptance has raised appeal of the Sochi lands for the investors, having made the former farmland «more prestigious», the situation became less pleasant for the developers on the contrary.

— To reach the first-best variant, which will be suitable for everybody, is impossible in any case, — is convinced Olga Shirokova, the director of consulting, analytics and researches department of Blackwood company.

— amendments should be brought in the general layout without fail, but as a whole the city should develop according to the clear scenario, or we would hardly get the resort of the international level.

War of the worlds

Most of all censures the new general layout of Sochi development has caused in the Ministry of natural resources and ecologists. 8 thousand hectares, which Olympic building should withdraw from the Sochi national reserve, became subject of fierce debate between city authorities and defenders of the reserved lands.

«Green» called the acceptance of the Sochi general layout «provocation against the Olympic Games»: according to their logic, the IOC defending high ecological standards for modern Games, can cancel them in the country roughly violating the international laws.

— I do not understand, why the Ministry of natural resources has opposed the general layout, — the member of Sochi public town-planning council Valery Suchkov is sincerely perplexed. — the fact of its acceptance is a phenomenal event which was being awaited for more than ten years.

Modernisation on a dust background

Referring to the experts' estimation, developers of the general layout do not count on advancing development of a transport-engineering infrastructure. Therefore, in the general layout it is planned the building of new resort highways— INTERM, and also the reconstruction of a railroad line Tuapse — Adler — Vesyoloye, which will allow to increase passenger traffic twice.

To minimise bad influence of grandiose building on environment, the complex of nature protection measures is included in the document. The special emphasis is made on working out of the scheme of general cleaning of Sochi and, basic improvement of water supply and water drain systems.

However, it is not always, when right words have hypnotising effect on the inhabitant. Natural alarm of Sochi common inhabitants is caused by the connection of new, springing all over buildings to the old worn out engineering networks. — Level of social and municipal infrastructure in the city is low and continues to decrease, — tells the ex-mayor of Sochi Vyachestav Voronkov. — Boiler-houses are overloaded, but new objects are connected to them. The «Vodocanal» lands are squandered, ecological conditions in river plains and everywhere becomes worse. Sochi expects a water collapse, drinking water accident! One of the main and critical problems of Preolympic Sochi still is a question of recycling of domestic waste. Millions tons of waste have accumulated on resort territory — including poisonous and extremely dangerous. Despite it, the group of Sochi architects has expressed the protest against waste processing complex proposed in the general layout instead of old combustion plant — in immediate proximity from territories, suitable for living.

Europe will help us

If the thesis, that without the Olympic Games there would be no Sochi general layout is true, then it is fair to say, that there would be no Games without the general layout. Connection seems obvious, but in the strategic document it is introduced in too implicit and indistinct way. — A considerable part of negative responses about a new general layout is connected with the fact, that building of Olympic objects and infrastructure goes, so to say, «by itself», is not integrated into town-planning strategy, — comments the analyst of «Finam Management» company Maxim Klyagin. — Besides, at the given stage, questions of the further use of Olympic real estate fund are too little worked out. On the October congress of festival — «Building. Town-planning. Develope-ment. Architecture» in the Central House of Architect has sounded the frank criticism of preparation course of Sochi objects and infrastructure for 2014. The idea to create international advisory council for purpose «to rescue Imeretinskaya lowland, while it is not late» has matured.

Dispute of «patriots» and «cosmopolitans»

Probably, foreigners have too hastened to «sound the alarm», but thier alarm is supported by well-known Sochi architect Yury Lvov:

— We can only regret for the ruined Sochi. The city became a victim of mass commercialization and uncontrollable 20-year-old development. Seaside resort does not have cinemas, there is no quay, beaches are fenced, it is overfilled with transport and built up with commercial high-rise buildings «for sale». But if the one-sided commerce bias upsets «patriots», «cosmopolitans», on the contrary, are optimistic.

— I can tell that the general layout of Sochi is absolutely real! — is assured the general director of «RostovDonDevelopement» company Anton Stanislavov. — for some tens years with support of the federal authorities it is possible to construct everything. Whether it turns out to be the city «for sports and life», it is too early to judge about it. Whether it is possible to exclude prospect, where Sochi will turn to expensive place of «parties», and the 400-thousand population will be dissolved between the half-occupied apartments, empty elite hotels and standing idle sports complexes? And what it is necessary to make, that chances of this horrible anti-Utopia came to nought? Still there are more questions; than answers.

How many general layouts did Sochi have?

The first general layout of Sochi-Matsesta resort reconstruction was made under the guidance of architect Nesia in 1931–1933 and covered the period of 25 years.

The second general layout of the Big Sochi development was worked out in 1965 by architects of a leading city development institute «Giprogor» Komarov and Yanson. Its performance was planned for 1967–1992. In 1990 the third general plan was introduced to GosStroy of the USSR. But «reorganisation, acceleration and publicity» had done their work: political and economical situation in the country had changed so that the general plan became obsolete already during its working out.

In 1996 the head of Sochi administration Nikolay Karpov approved the document named «the General layout of the Big Sochi. A proof-reading». It was considered neither by Sochi City council, nor by regional administration, moreover — it was not published at all. In 1998 the default «has eaten» money meant for Sochi zoning. The works, which «Giprogor» had begun, were not finished. The general layout proofreading remained non-realised.


Author: Irina Rodina