The Environment for Living
City and waterfront

The Environment for Living is the all-Russian housing and urban forum, the platform for exchanging ideas between government officials, citizens, developers, Russian and international architects, specialists in the field of urban environment.

The 5th anniversary forum was held on August 25‑26th in Nizhny Novgorod with the main theme being «City and waterfront». Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin attended the event as a keynote speaker.

All-Russian forum “Small towns and historical settlements” took place during the Environment for Living with the support of Ministry of Construction of Russia including award ceremony for the 5th all-Russian competition for projects for creating comfortable urban environment.

All presentation materials are available in Media.


City and Water

The quality of the urban environment, its comfort, safety and activity are strongly associated with rational work with water resources. Rivers and lakes have always been important for cities as transport arteries, sources of fresh water and energy, and recreational spaces. Today, the understanding of the values of reservoirs is becoming more comprehensive. Cities are looking for new ways to interact with water through the creation of sustainable landscapes and green corridors, giving equal rights of water and urban elements. This problem is especially relevant for Russia, as 70% of its cities with 85 million population are located in water bodies, but only 10% of the coastline of these water bodies is available and comfortable. This is a huge challenge and at the same time great potential for development.

The issue requires thoughtful actions in several directions at once: region, city and specific place. Such work should be based on a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of the development of the urban environment, as well as rely on the well-coordinated interaction of residents, specialists, business representatives and authorities. The V Environment for Living Forum is dedicated to organizing such coordination.

The topic of designing urban landscapes with a support of water and green resources will be considered at interstate, regional, urban and local levels. Participants will share their experience in development of coastal zones and will discuss the first results of the implementation of the Law on the Integrated Urban Development. Special attention will be paid to the involvement of private investments into the development of Russian cities.


Vitaly Mutko


Andrei Nikitin

Governor of Novgorod Oblast

Irek Faizullin

Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation

Sergey Kapkov

Head of the Centre for Culture Economy, Urban Development and Creative Industries Research, Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Martin Aarts

Former head of Urban planning, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

David Miller

Former Mayor of Toronto, Director of International Diplomacy for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (Canada)

Guzel Sanzhapova

Social entrepreneur, Founder of the project of territorial development in the village Maly Turysh (Maly Turysh)

Alexey Novikov

President and co-founder of «Habidatum»

Maria Faloleeva

Head of the Central Council of the Ecoproject International Public Association, Ph.D. in Geography

Johannes Tovatt

Former CEO of Tovatt Architects & Planners (Sweden)

Darius Reznek

«Karres en Brands» Partner (Netherlands)


Итоги форума «Среда для жизни — 2021»



  • All-Russian Forum of Small Towns and Historic Settlements
    Place: Nizhny Novgorod Fair, Pavilion 1
  • Registration

    Opening ceremony on the All-Russian Forum of Small Towns and Historic Settlements

    The programme of the All-Russian Forum of Small Towns and Historic Settlements

    Track 1: Town Planning

    Track 2: Green and Water Areas

    Track 3: City Center and Commuter Towns

    Track 4: Housing and Urban Environment: Effective Communication

    The awards ceremony of the all-Russian youth competition in urbanism and media «Urban Intonations»

    Strategic session on implementation of National projects in small towns and historic settlements

  • All-Russian Forum of Small Towns and Historic Settlements
    Place: Corporate University of the Government of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
  • Presentation of final projects of the all-Russian youth competition in urbanism and media «Urban Intonations» finalists

    Roundtable: Russia-France common project «Water-green urban frame as a base for creating sustainable and smart cities. Small cities»

  • Business programme. Day 1
    Place: FUTURO Gallery of Modern Art Address: 6, Rozhdestvenskaya Street
  • Registration


    Development of the Coastal Territories: Decisions Overview


    Nature Potential: Water as a Resource for Urban Development

    Case study

    Do It Yourself: the Role of Citizens in the Development of Embankments


    New Practice: the Mechanisms of Implementation of Integrated Urban Development Projects

    Panel Discussion

    New Standard: Education and Career in Urban Development

    Charitable hockey match

    Place: Nagorny Cultural-Entertainment Center, Nizhny Novgorod


    В рамках культурно-развлекательной программы форума «Среда для жизни», прошел благотворительный хоккейный матч с участием представителей Минстроя России, руководителей субъектов Российской Федерации, АО «ДОМ.РФ», а также прославленных хоккеистов, деятелей культуры и спорта. Все собранные средства были направлены в ГКОУ «Детский дом № 3» г. Нижний Новгород.

    Собрали лучшие моменты матча в небольшом атмосферном видеоролике.




    Итоги форума «Среда для жизни — 2021»


    Vladimir Putin: ‘No One Needs a Race for Square Meters, so We Should Not Build Uncomfortable, Poor Quality Housing. We Must Build Not Just a Large Amount of Housing, but Also Housing That Is Modern’

    On December 20, 2017, Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects in the Kremlin, which was convened to discuss the implementation of the housing development strategy. The President mentioned that large volumes of housing should not compromise the quality of new housing.

    ‘No one needs a race for square meters, so we should not build uncomfortable, poor quality housing’, Vladimir Putin said. ‘We must build not just a large amount of housing, but also housing that is modern. And here it is important not only to update the standards, but also to find economic incentives for developers to build new residential buildings based on advanced design solutions and technologies, using quality modern materials. On a par with housing people need parks, squares, playgrounds and sports grounds and social infrastructure – in a word, everything that forms the image of cities and creates a favorable environment for life.’

    ‘Realization of a priority project on creating a comfortable urban environment will positively affect the volumes of housing. Annually up until 2025, 25 billion rubles will be allocated to shaping a new image of cities and improving quality of life in Russia’s cities’, stated Mikhail Men, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation.

    Mikhail Men also added that a subprogram of stimulating the development of housing construction facilitates the increase of construction volumes and improving the affordability of housing within the Integrated Development of Territories. ‘In 2017 we obtained a support for over 60 housing construction projects in 32 regions with construction volume over 6 million square meters of housing. There are 92 public amenities under construction: schools, pre-school facilities, health centers; and also 126 km of internal development roads. The means from federal budget are preliminarily allocated to construction of infrastructure facilities. In 2018 we plan to put 100 projects into operation involving 8 man square meters of housing. It will allow exclude infrastructure costs from a per square meter price.’

    According to estimations, around 1.5 man families in Russia might take out mortgage loanты in 2018, said Alexander Plutonic, CEO of DOM.RF. Young families under 35-years-old account for around 50% of borrowers. They are used to new technologies in their daily life. ‘We have to find a new way to cater to their needs’, said Plutnik.

    ‘In cooperation with the Bank of Russia we are working on the standards of responsible mortgage loans system together with leading banks’, noted Plutnik. ‘We carried out several expanded studies and learned that in the following 5 years around 8 million families in Russia will take mortgage loans. It is significant to offer them a mechanism to improve their living conditions and problems, rather involve them in infinite trials that follow borrower default.’

    According to Denis Leontiev, around 40% of residents of Russia’s cities do not have green areas within walking distance to their homes; streets in the cities and towns are congested; residential areas lack decent workplaces, though 60% of citizens prefer to work near their places; many people are dissatisfied with ecological situation.

    ‘Modern guidelines imply unified parameters and mechanisms that ensure a balanced level of living environment. For instance, on the one hand, a unified standard of lane width of a roadway of 3.5m saves street traffic capacity and makes traffic safer; on the other hand, it allows to maximize space or pedestrians by 15% in the whole city’, stated Denis Leontiev.

    75% of Russians reside in cities, which are the centers of a new economy. Urban dwellers contribution accounts for 60% of national GDP and this number will grow further.