Leading experts will discuss how universities can change the city

Leading experts will discuss how universities can change the city

The first international forum of university cities has begun at TSU. Representatives of Russian and European universities, experts in urban development and business consultants from Russia, France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, and Norway will discuss the patterns, trends, and opportunities for the development of university cities.

- Such a forum will be held in Russia for the first time, but its topic is very popular today, - said Nikolay Minaev, head of the Regional Department of Science and Higher Education. - For us, this forum is interesting from the point of view of creating the concept “Tomsk as an Innovative Center”, which envisages the development of university infrastructure in a systematic manner. It is interesting to discuss with the experts increasing the attractiveness of Tomsk as a university city and its attractiveness for international students.

International experts on urban development, including Nicolas Buchoud, founding principal of Renaissance Urbaine strategic advisory and President of the think tank Grand Paris Alliance for metropolitan development (France); Val Jerdes, General Partner at Foresight Ventures and an advisor of acceleration programme for Russian startups Pulsar Venture Capital; Gwenaele Proutière-Maulion, director of the International Department of Nantes; Professor Tchanguiz Razban Haghighi, director of International Affairs in Polytech Nantes, and others will speak at the forum.

- It is important to know how the university interacts with the city, to make them more comfortable and more friendly, - said Maria Jose Pinheiro, head of the European programme Urban Dynamics, professor at the University of Santiago de Compostel. - At the TSU forum, I’ve met many people with interesting ideas and experience, and I think that these days will be very productive.

At the plenary meeting, scientists spoke about the main trends of developing university cities in the 21st century. They talked about the location of the campus, students' social support, access to urban infrastructure, the integration of the new university in the historic city, and other important features of a university city.

The forum will offer participants a discussion in the open space format, master classes from the Siberian and European urbanists Best Practices of University Cities, and a large case conference, where the experience of several university cities - Lyon, Bath, Nantes, Regensburg, and Tomsk - will be presented.

Organizers say that the forum is planned to be an annual event, and TSU partners from Asian countries already have submitted applications to participate next year.