Satellite Town Aims to Maximize Comfort for Value
Published: August 8, 2012 (Issue # 1721)
The Yuzhny satelitte town will have its own infrastructure and provide jobs to many living there and in southern St. Petersburg.
In 15 years St. Petersburg will have a new satellite town known as Yuzhny — a self-sufficient miniature city with its own infrastructure and businesses, and whose residents will likely be labeled “southerners.”
“Housing covering an area of 4.3 million square meters for 134,000 residents will be built there,” said Andrei Nazarov, general director of Start Development Management company, the project’s developer, which signed a joint agreement on the realization of the project with the St. Petersburg city government last month.
“The strategic importance of the project is defined by its orientation toward improving the socio-economic, social and cultural life of the population,” said Oleg Lyskov, acting chairman of City Hall’s Committee for Investment and Strategic Projects. “The building of low-rise constructions, which provide a new level of comfort in urban environments, is widespread practice in European cities because of the number of advantages they offer,” he added.
The concept of the Yuzhny satellite town was developed by Urban Design Associates, an American architectural bureau, and Gillespies, a British architecture and urban design firm. The companies’ stated aim is to create a project that will combine modern technology with urban development, maximizing the relationship between value and comfort.
Yuzhny will cover 2,000 hectares of land in St. Petersburg’s Pushkinsky district, and another 2,000 in the Leningrad Oblast. Various classes of housing including villas, townhouses and apartments will be constructed on the territory.
“If we were to start selling [real estate] today, the price of economy class housing would be between 45,000 and 47,000 rubles ($1,400-$1,470) per square meter,” said Nazarov.
But who will move to the new town? According to St. Petersburg’s Housing Committee, at the beginning of April this year, 182,000 families in St. Petersburg were registered as wanting to improve their housing conditions. In addition, St. Petersburg is one of the most popular destinations that people move to from all over Russia.
The city expects the Yuzhny satellite town to help create a huge number of jobs, both for Yuzhny residents and others.
“There will be jobs in the industrial park, as well as those associated with the infrastructure and service sectors of the city,” said Nazarov. “We don’t deny that some people will travel from Yuzhny to St. Petersburg; about 20 percent of the working population will work in the center [St. Petersburg],” he added.
Developers also expect Yuzhny to attract workers from the southern suburbs of St. Petersburg such as Kupchino and Kolpino. They hope the satellite town will eventually resemble La Défense business district in Paris, which has 20,000 residents, while a total of 150,000 people work in the district.
The satellite town will also house several commercial projects, including the Doni-Verevo industrial park, which will cover 183 hectares in the Leningrad Oblast. Yuzhny will also have 58 kindergartens, 27 schools, ten sports and entertainment centers and 12 medical clinics. Three-hundred-and-fifty hectares have been designated as park, lake and beach areas.
Buses and suburban trains will provide transportation between Yuzhny and St. Petersburg. The six-lane Kiev highway and a junction of St. Petersburg’s KAD ring road are both situated in this part of the city. Developers are also planning to launch a high-speed tram and a second ring road — the KAD-2.
“The Yuzhny satellite town project includes developing the necessary transportation infrastructure on the territory, which will relieve traffic in the south of the city and in the Pushkinsky [district] in particular,” said Lyskov.
The Pushkinsky district territory on which Yuzhy is going to be built is currently classed as agricultural land. In order for investors to build there, the status of this land must first be changed to urban development land. This problem will be resolved when the master plan for St. Petersburg is updated, according to Lyskov. He promised that as the Committee for Urban Development and Architecture is devising the plan for the project, all ecological risks will be minimized.
The total volume of investment in the project is estimated at 176 billion rubles ($5.5 billion). City Hall will be in charge of developing transportation and social infrastructure, while construction companies will build residential and commercial buildings. Start Development Management plans to occupy only 20 percent of the territory.
The project, whose construction will commence in 2013 and is due to be completed in 2028, has already attracted a significant amount of interest among both Russian and international corporations, according to its investors.