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A cultural center is more important than a retail one, at least for Skolkovo

Richard Tibbott
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On June 14th, Skolkovo Fund and RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) held a round table titled “Cultural Center as a Driver for Territorial Development” within the framework of developing an innovation environment in Skolkovo.

The quality of life within a territory is primarily determined by the presence of a friendly community that arises from the many social links among its members. One of the key generators of these ties is a cultural center. In the case of Skolkovo, the planned cultural center is part of the mechanism for production of innovation and is thus a place not just for leisure and recreation but for work, education, and networking. It is integrated into the same block as Municipal Services Provision Center and its infrastructure would support services offered to residents of the city. The planning and construction of the center combines the interests of developers, municipal officials, regional planners, and cultural experts.

During the round table, specially invited guests and permanent members of the Expert Council of Culture Center discussed how to construct a local community and how to offer in demand services while not requiring massive financing from Skolkovo Fund. Oleg Alexeev, vice president of Skolkovo Fund, emphasized that when constructing social use objects, it is necessary to see how they contribute towards establishing an innovative community. Specialist in cultural center development and adviser to the general director of Cushman & Wakefield, Richard Tibbott, shared the European experience in building similar projects. Richard brought participants’ attention to identifying all possible sources of financing before development begins and underscored the need to get deep involvement from the property owner in formulation of the business model. Richard mentioned that cultural centers become successful and highly visited only when organizations that introduce social and cultural values into the project actively participate in creation of the business plan.

Richard Tibbott/ (Advisory – Development Consultancy and Hotels of Cushman & Wakefield

Alexeev Oleg Borisovich – Vice president of Skolkovo Fund and chief executive officer for education and research