Anna Guryeva: ‘Multifunctionality is a new black’

How the mixed-use development ideology is changing the lives of Tatarstan citizens

Anna Guryeva: ‘Multifunctionality is a new black’

The global trend in commercial real estate is gaining popularity in Russia — mixed-use development, mixed use of territories. Within this model, projects combine various functions: residential, business, commercial and recreational. In our country, such complexes are called multifunctional (MFC). The main goal is to create a favourable environment for the residents of the site, and for investors — to diversify investments. Anna Guryeva, project manager at UD Group, tells in the author's column for Realnoe Vremya how Kazan developers are developing the new ideology.

The habit of not wasting time on uninteresting things

Now we are beginning to understand how accurate the phrase “it doesn't matter how many days in your life, it matters how much life is in your days” is. In the modern world of constant changes and turbulence leading to stress, the value of simple human joys increases. The life balance has been shaken by external crises and we need more rest, vivid impressions, and positive emotions to restore energy.

We suddenly realised that the work-home-vacation balance began to depend on us, and not on circumstances, realised that this is always the result of our choice. The opportunity to free up time for life has become an end in itself. We go beyond apartments, workspaces, looking for new emotions. The places where we can get them are starting to play a new important role in our lives.

New generations grow up with a high dependence on new experiences, they are not satisfied with boring reality, they see opportunities in the modern world, even if this world is virtual. People are forming the habit of not wasting time on uninteresting things, so the world begins to change in accordance with the demands of generations.

A mix of functions to satisfy maximum requests without moving

The moods of each of us, society as a whole, and the expected needs of future generations are developing into urban trends, into approaches to the creation of residential and public projects. Our company has been developing urban infrastructure and spaces for more than 20 years. We are observing how not only residential, but also commercial facilities are changing. With the development of online commerce, retail facilities in their pure form have become less in demand, but with the addition of an entertainment function, thoughtful conceptual food courts, entertainment areas, additional services, they can get a new life.


In our opinion, now the most relevant format of commercial real estate is multifunctional complexes. The very name — “multifunctional” — suggests that the project is designed to perform several functions at once. In them, visitors can satisfy the maximum of requests without additional movements, there can be neighbouring apartments, social facilities, spaces for work, places of entertainment and recreation.

The mix of functions can be different, it is determined taking into account the already existing infrastructure into which the project is being built, the existing deficit and expectations. At the same time, each request and each audience should have its own scenario.

“New opportunities for city residents”

The interest in multifunctional projects is not accidental, we see polycentricity as the main trend in urban development. The city is not being built around a single place of attraction or application of labour. Specific centres are appearing in different areas so that the resident has the opportunity to get everything he needs near his home. This approach takes the load off the transport network. But what is also very important — it saves time and energy of residents.

Polycentricity intersects with the concept of a 15-minute city, which was introduced by Carlos Moreno and picked up by many European cities. Infrastructure facilities are appearing within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from the place of residence. But this is not a story about new restrictions and isolation, but about the reduction of routine processes and new opportunities that appear due to the release of time.


Now businesses must be customer-centric. A person and his expectations come to the fore, in an ideal scenario of his life, a little more time should appear, which he saves on moving to interesting and necessary places for him. New generations are already focused on maximising impressions and reducing routine processes.

Working from home or in a co-working space next to it, living in an apartment, but meeting friends in public spaces. Having a variety of hobbies and pastime options. Not choosing between where to go: to a fitness club or to a cafe with friends, as you can have time to do everything. Client-centricity motivates developers to search for new formats, their combinations that not only develop urban spaces, but also create new opportunities for city residents. For each of us.

Anna Guryeva

The author's opinion may not coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya.