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21 May 2020

Urban studies in practice: how GSOM students at St. Petersburg University can improve the urban environment of the Leningrad Region

The Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM) has begun cooperation with the Center of Competencies for the Development of the Urban Environment of the Leningrad Region. Students of the programs “Public Administration” and “Master in Urban Management and and Development” will do a summer internship at the Center, where they can apply their managerial competencies. 

The Competence Center is a structural unit that is subordinate to the regional government. Its main task is the formation of a comfortable urban environment. An important role in solving this task is played by managerial competencies at the stage of designing the environment, where the Center needs to engage the population in the selection and creation of a comfortable space. In addition, the Center needs to develop an economic model for information and cultural centers in the areas being designed. As part of their internships, students will be able to help prepare applications for participation in the All-Russian competition of the best projects for creating a comfortable urban environment in small towns and historical settlements, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of priority cities and study residents requests, and develop guidelines with the Center’s experts.

“Before the implementation of projects, a large number of questions arise related to the determination of the “growth points” of cities and their functional content, which allows not only the satisfaction of the needs of residents, but also becomes a source of development for the district or city as a whole. Therefore, it is so important to involve students with the skills of analysis, strategic planning and management,” said Yekaterina Manzhula, Director of the Competence Center. 

For GSOM students, participating in such an internship is an opportunity to learn from experts in the field of urban studies. The Head of the Project Department of the Center, Architect Elizaveta Grechukhina, has worked for four years in the Gatchina administration and was able to bring the public space of the city to a new modern level during this time.

“In conditions when public authorities, unfortunately, are closed to interns due to quarantine, such Centers become an excellent opportunity for internships. We are glad that students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in real projects and understand the subtleties of the industry, ” said Elizaveta Troyanova, Director of the Career Center at GSOM SPbU.