Sergey Kuznetsov: architects must know how to work with standards

21 July 2017

The Chief Architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov told about the experience of urban planning regulation and standardization at the Moskomarkhitektura’s Conference «Comfortable city. Norms and Regulations».

—What regulations, in your opinion, are mandatory, and which can be formulated as recommendations?

—The regulations ensuring life safety in all senses are mandatory, of course. The rest issues can be discussed.

—What is your attitude to the parametric system of regulation (when a decision on development is made on the basis of the relevant parameters rather than defined by the standards)?

—Parametric models are always based on standards. It’s possible to modify some elements of the standards, if they are outdated, but only pursuant to the research.

—What causes «failed» implementations of urban development projects (excess/lack of standards, lack of methodology, low skill level of designers)?

—This issue is complex. On the one hand, we have problems with the regulatory bases; they sometimes do not meet modern design standards, or simply contradict each other. But expertise of those who use the standards is questioned as well. No rules, despite being wisely formulated, can turn a bad designer into a good professional. We need to nurture professionals.

—What, in your opinion, is the role of architects and the architectural community in the development of standards?

—Architects should be fully involved in this process, as their work depends on it. However, there is an aspect that should be considered: they should understand the specifics features of documents and navigate in the legal system. When I say «architects», I mean city planners, and designers of residential and public buildings.

—Is it necessary to develop a methodology for urban planning to create a comfortable environment? Or is it the designer’s responsibility in every case?

—Yes! We certainly need methodology! It is important to understand that this is not a dogma; and maybe, over time, we’ll have to improve or change the approach. It is absolutely normal! Every time period sets its own requirements to the urban environment, which are reflected in the regulations and standards. It is essential that we have clarity and consistency. Only then we’ll obtain good results.

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