10 cities of Tatarstan to compete for multimillion-dollar grants of All-Russian Competition
The heads of the cities-winners of the federal project competition about the pros and cons of projects to create public spaces
Forty-three thousand residents of Tatarstan during the two-week voting on the portal of public services chose the territories that will become applicants for grants of the All-Russian competition of the best projects for the formation of comfortable urban environment. This year, the projects of parks and other public spaces that are planned to be implemented in Agryz, Yelabuga, Arsk, Bavly, Zainsk, Kukmor, Laishevo, Leninogorsk, Bolgar, Chistopol and the village of Bilyarsk are going to participate in the competition. Participation in the federal competition for Tatarstan is not the first — since 2018, thanks to participation and victory in it, the cities and districts have received more than 1,6 billion rubles from the prize fund. What benefits and problems the implementation of such projects brings were told at a briefing held under the leadership of Assistant to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova, the heads of cities and districts of the republic, who became winners of the competition of previous years.
New look of public spaces for 14bn rub
Already in the first year of the All-Russian competition, which selects the most creative projects to create a comfortable environment in small towns, Tatarstan won a fifth of the prize fund of 5 billion rubles. “We still remember it," said Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova, the assistant to the president of the Republic. Let us remind that in 2018, 14 projects out of 23 submitted by the Republic of Tatarstan for the competition were recognised as winners. Such a resounding victory of Tatarstan forced the organising committee to impose restrictions on the number of applications — now the region can not put forward more than 12 projects.
At the same time, the number of districts that would like to renovate their public spaces this year has exceeded the established limit. The announced vote helped to choose the projects that are more relevant and necessary for the population of small towns f Tatarstan. More than 40,000 residents of the region expressed their opinion on the portal of public services. The project for the reconstruction of the Shishkinskiye Ponds in Yelabuga district received the most votes (12,400), the second place (2,900 votes) — the improvement of Commune Street in Arsk, the third — the improvement of the Selskoye Lake in Bilyarsk, which received 1,700 votes.
These projects and eight more will compete this year with applications from other regions of the country for the grant of the All-Russian Competition. In general, over the three years of the competition of projects for the improvement of cities with a population not exceeding 100,000 people, it was won by 26 republican projects, taking more than 1,6 billion rubles from the prize fund.
The federal money has been fully disbursed, and the economic effect of the implementation of all the winning projects, as it was announced at the briefing on 2 March, is 30 million rubles of revenue to local budgets, more than 60 million rubles in taxes were added to the budget of Tatarstan, and almost 600 people were given jobs. Speaking in general about the republican programme for the creation of public spaces, the first deputy minister of construction, architecture and housing of the Republic of Tatarstan, Aleksey Frolov, noted that over 5 years, 14 billion rubles have been spent on the implementation of projects, of which almost 10 billion is the money of the republic.
Only the initial economic effect
New comfortable recreation areas, parks, and embankments now attract not only local residents, tourists, but also investors — this was mentioned by almost every head of cities and districts who took part in the briefing. In Bugulma, in the course of the project implementation to activate the city centre and Sokolskaya Gora, city businessmen became interested in the reconstruction of historical buildings on the central streets of the city, which will turn 240 years old this year.
If due to the repeated victory in the All-Russian Competition of projects, the city attracted about 200 million rubles from the federal budget, said Mayor of Bugulma, Linar Zakirov, then the capital investment of city businessmen is almost 100 million.
Besides, the transformation of the city, which bears the title of The Most Comfortable City of the Republic of Tatarstan, began to bring profit to the local budget. The 9 million rubles that the city treasury has recently received — “this is only the initial economic effect from the implementation of competitive projects”, the mayor is sure: new jobs have been created, the pace of real estate sales is growing. The increase in the cost of renting residential real estate by 4%, and municipal real estate by 22% also brings dividends to the budget.
Another plus was that school graduates after university graduation now want to return to their hometown, Zakirov added. He added that this year Bugulma plans to complete the renovation of the city centre, having spent 80 million rubles of federal money, 33 million from the budget of the republic and local entrepreneurs intend to invest the same amount.
Not only territory is changing, but also people's mentality
“The main challenge was to rethink, reformat our entire team, because the approaches and the requirements that were put forward by Natalia Fishman's team — we sometimes thought that we spoke different languages, but as a result, we prepared a strong application, went through this path together, and the result was a grant of 50 million rubles," shared the head of the Alekseevsky district, Sergey Demidov.
The money was invested in the reconstruction, as he noted, of “a sacred place for believers of all religions” — the Holy Bilyar Spring, the flow of tourists to which, despite the difficult year of 2020, amounted to 80,000 people.
He stressed another important detail — the full involvement of local population in the process of discussing projects and the creation of infrastructure facilities by local entrepreneurs.
“Thanks to participation in this competition, we are changing not only the territory itself, the economy of this territory, but also the mentality of the people who live there, this is the most gratifying and great effect of this programme.
The head of the Zainsky district, Razif Karimov, also spoke about this: “People's requests are already becoming different, the vision of urban life is getting better, other issues are being discussed, not the same as 5-6 years ago — this all probably changes the mentality of the population.”
Since 2015, 70 hectares of public spaces have been landscaped in Zainsk, and 145 million rubles have been invested in their creation over the past three years.
However, at the briefing, there were not only positive reviews about the new public spaces. For example, in Laishevo, the 43-km-wide embankment near the so-called Kama Sea and the legacy left after the shooting of the film Zuleykha Opening Her Eyes in the form of the scenery of the village of Semruk attract tens of thousands of people, especially in the summer months. They come mainly by car, and the issue of parking for them today is the most acute.
“We need a large investor who can create multi-level parking lots because there are no places and land available for ordinary parking lots in the city. We are inviting investors — this is a very unique and very profitable object for investment," Ildus Zaripov, the head of the Laishevsky district, said from the rostrum.