Big City University

The First Electrotechnical will hold a dialogue between representatives of education, business, and authorities about practices and opportunities for integrating the university into the urban fabric.

On October 13 at 16:00, LETI will hold a discussion "Big City University" in the videoconference hall of Building 5. During the event, representatives of businesses, authorities, and international universities will share institutional and business solutions for the university's integration into city life to meet challenges and drive social and economic changes in the university and the city.

The currently-practiced solution for an ambitious technical university is to move to a new vacant place outside the city to satisfy its growing demand on modern infrastructure, space, life, and learning styles. LETI looks for other productive ways and practices for intensive development.

A university surrounded by a densely built commercial and residential property must be in dialogue with its urban environment. A campus should not be active only during work hours but offer reasons and facilities for students, educators, and researchers to stay for other pastimes. It should encourage citizens to pass security gates to visit its historical campus and enjoy its atmosphere. Participants of the discussion, moderated by Anastasia Minina, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of LETI, will discuss development strategies and solutions to meet these challenges.

Vice Rector for International Relations, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI)

  • Moderator
     Presentation 1
     Presentation 2

    LETI has marked its 135-th birthday by winning the grant in the federal program “Priority 2030”. For us it is both achievement and challenge. It means more intensive development of our interdisciplinary R&D projects, digitalization of education and management processes. We see LETI campus as the space for unlocking the potential of our students, lecturers and researchers and the interaction venue for our academic and business partners, and public organizations. Our campus is an integral part of St. Petersburg intellectual environment.

Carl Peersman
Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg

  • Opening the discussion with a greeting speech

    Next year we will celebrate another milestone date – 350-year birthday of Peter the Great. Being in the university having the age-old history I keep in mind the influence of Dutch taste on the architecture of St. Petersburg. I am sure that the historical identity of the University should be preserved by all means, but it can be enriched by the innovations, which will raise the value of its creative and academic environment, will make it more inclusive and comfortable.

Dmitry Panov
A member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg of the new convocation and a chair of the St. Petersburg regional branch of "Business Russia"

  • New masterplan of St. Petersburg until year 2030 shall integrate its history and development of new technologies. It is very important to hear the opinion of young professionals about it. In our country city campuses is a new trend in the urban development, and I see it as a great goal to transform them into a place for productive exchanges between generations, where young people can implement their ideas and innovations.

Deputy director, the "Center for Strategic Research" Foundation, partner and head of the main office

  • Keynote speech. Campus in the big city: development goals and ways of integration into the urban environment.

    Intelligent organization of the indoor and outdoor spaces by universities gives them competitive advantages. The compact LETI campus belongs to its environment, therefore its integration into the city life is logical. LETI is a university with diverse interests and activities, so it would win from closer exchanges with its neighbors – medical and biological institutes and the test facility for artificial intelligence.

Elena Bodrova
Executive Director of the Russian Guild of Managers and Developers

  • University development and business

    Both city and university influence each other. We also can see that investors are considering campuses as the investment sites. But for that the university should offer its open spaces. Such public places raise the international ratings of the university and make its competition for investment successful. For that the university needs its own initiative, its team. By organizing the international contest of young architects LETI has made a very important step towards concrete and very important changes.

Director of Investment Group PBM Capital, chair of the Committee for Investment in the Russian Guild of Property Managers and Developers

  • Discussion of the possibilities of public-private partnership when investing in a university campus.

    The main priority of any investor is his investment return, and looking at this angle the investor, first, evaluates the solvency of the university’s education activities and products, and, second, its location. Speaking about the campus, we focus on the hostels and public places, because they can have the commercial component, which should attract money. Therefore, discussing the perspectives we are not talking about hostels and classrooms, but about places for temporary accommodation, for research team meetings and pastimes, sports activities. We are ready to invest into campuses using the public-private partnership model, where university is seen as the partner.

Urban designer and leader of projects on the transformation of the Eindhoven Technical University campus, the Netherlands

  • City as A Lab. Experience of the 20-year university transformation projects. Stages and results of the campus buildings and infrastructure renovation.

    Brainport model in Eindhoven is a cooperation between the city, business and university to give new identity to the existing buildings. For example, in my technical university its library was converted into the partially open space combining many functions. Now auditoriums are places not only for students, they are used for life-long learning, lectures and classes for all. Thinking about renovation my technical university invited young designers to do experimental projects. Now we know that they made Eindhoven famous.

Partner, the Mangera Yvars Architects (MYAA), Great Britain

  • Cities of Knowledge: global experience in the university campus design. Research & education projects Education City and Quatar Foundation Research Facility in the UAE.

Director for the Semrén & Månsson business development in Russia.
"LETI – Future Academic Spaces" Jury Member

  • Live and learn: the KTH Rocks project - LIVE-IN-LAB – integrated into the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (КТН) in Stockholm.

    New projects of urban universities made by the Semren & Mansson company integrate all three media including the underground space. At this the campus development projects become more and more open, i.e. they offer larger public and green zones. These places are arranged for the comfortable presence of different social groups – from active sporty students to disabled people. Rigid functional zoning is gone – universities need more green and flexible spaces, where even places for living can be used as laboratories.

Elena Belova
Development Director of Intiled – lighting design, projects and complex solutions for facades, bridges, transport infrastructure

  • Influence of façade lighting on the on the integration of knowledge and education centers into the urban environment.

    Campus is the city in the city, and it must be convenient for its user, be it a student, professor or just visitor. At this the lighting is arranged to meet the needs and tasks of the user. This is of particular importance for the students and researchers who work at the junction of sciences and creative activities. They should possess the cultivated taste for the right lighting of spaces. Participatory planning is of utmost importance in the design and renovation of campus spaces. This is where the place-users should take an active part.

Senior architect, Atelier PRO, guest teacher at Technical University Delft (the Netherlands).
"LETI – Future Academic Spaces" Jury Member

  • New learning centers in the Netherlands and Russia

    Pascal Leistra will talk about her projects and open the awards ceremony for the transformation of the four iconic spaces of LETI's campus.

    Campus is the accelerator of life in the city, it is a DNA element of the city. The Delft University practices the concept of a living campus where green spaces are very important. There students can meet, eat, play and enjoy the sun. Another important part of the campus life - the popular science center for students, children, parents. Old, neglected places, like small yards, can start a new life after getting roofs and not costly arrangements, which make them sheltered and comfortable; and galleries added to huge halls and lobbies make them more functional and user-friendly.

Results of the discussion

Intelligent Development: How to Integrate a University into the Urban Environment

LETI hosted the international discussion, where educators, urbanists, and architects shared best practices and trends in campus renovation.

Anastasia Minina, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at LETI, opened the event: "To keep up with the times, LETI follows the agenda of continuous transformation. We have a long and successful 135-year history with great graduates and researchers. Recently, LETI has won the governmental Priority 2030 grant for developing its key research and development competencies. These strategic priorities require the intelligent renovation of campus and academic environment, and today we will discuss it with distinguished experts."

Carl Peersman, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg, made a greeting speech. LETI was the first Russian university which he visited in his new position. Mr. Peersman referred to the traditional presence of Dutch expertise in the architecture and urban infrastructure of St. Petersburg, which started with the Great Embassy of Peter the Great.

"Visiting your more than century-old campus, I am convinced that you should preserve the historical identity of the university, but it is also necessary to bring in something new for the revitalization of research & education environment, making it more accessible, inclusive, and comfortable. This task does not require immediate measures but rather balanced and intelligent decisions."

Carl Peersman, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg

Dmitry Panov, a member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and a chair of the St. Petersburg regional branch of "Business Russia," spoke on the importance of such events and communication with young citizens in city planning, especially in the context of the forthcoming adoption of the new St. Petersburg master plan 2030.

According to analytical forecasts, in ten years, the number of students will increase by 50% globally, and each year the educational tourism sector is growing by 15%. Dmitry Sanatov, Deputy Director of the "Center for Strategic Research" Foundation, presented advantages, which universities can get by campus development in the growing market.

Speaking about the campus transformation, Dmitry highlighted the importance of cutting-edge technologies, integration into the urban environment, and R&D ventures for a stronger involvement in the new markets. Speaking about St. Petersburg's evolution as a large educational center, the expert brought the model of Chicago's urban campus. Students there benefitted from the integration policy of universities, which gave them wide access to the infrastructure, events, and resources of all partners.

Elena Bodrova, Executive Director of the Russian Guild of Managers and Developers, spoke about a new trend in Russia – private companies investing in campus development and research laboratories. The open university spaces for students, citizens, and high-tech companies invariably attract funding and increase global competitiveness.

Felix Blinov, Director of the RWM Capital Investment Group, continued on the subject of investment in education. He presented his company's investment project – a student campus in Seville (Spain) – and noted that in Russia such projects need to have a different economic model. A good solution is the model of a public-private partnership with a share of private investments of about 40%.

Kees Donkers, an urban designer and leader of projects on the transformation of the Eindhoven Technical University campus (the Netherlands), described how Eindhoven has metamorphosed from an ordinary industrial city to the creative capital of Holland and Europe. After the closure of the Phillips headquarters and factories, the city managed to attract high-tech businesses by finding new uses for the empty industrial buildings. The local universities also took advantage of this opportunity by housing academic buildings and facilities in the former factory buildings.

Andrey Petrov, Director of the Semrén & Månsson business development in Russia, presented the company's prize-winning innovative projects for universities in Sweden and Poland and gave details of the interdisciplinary Live-In Lab project integrated into the campus of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The three hostels, built on the site of a parking lot, have both service facilities, e.g. laundry room, and co-working spaces with a 5G system laboratory.

Elena Belova, Development Director of Intiled, spoke about the influence of façade lighting on the integration of knowledge and education centers into the urban environment. She noted that modern lighting solutions for buildings and spaces should prioritize the needs of campus users and visitors. This can be achieved by co-creative design involving students, teachers, and residents of the university neighborhood.

Pascale Leistra, a senior architect of VMX Architects and lecturer at Delft University (the Netherlands), presented the evolution of the TU Delft campus. Pascale also is the jury member in the young architects' contest "LETI - Future Academic Spaces." She addressed students of LETI and other universities inviting them to join in the creative efforts for making universities better and opened the award ceremony for finalists, authors of best projects for the transformation of the four iconic spaces in the LETI campus.