''Developers have the illusion that high-quality improvement is always expensive''

Expert column: targeted destruction of urban environment through improvement

According to Nikita Malikov, an expert in the field of rational architecture (in conditions of limited budgets and resources), there are three types of purposeful destruction of urban environment through improvement: the improvement for the official, marketing specialist and engineer. In the column, written specially for Realnoe Vremya, the author decided to speak about the latter — the improvement for the design engineer.

Improvement for design engineer

Site improvement is often very similar to the weapon of mass destruction. The case when the open country with a drunk tractor driver Mikhalych, who loves the local prostitute Vera, looked much more picturesque, than the yard or park that appeared on it. At least there was more love in the country. There was even soul.

I distinguish between three types of targeted destruction of urban environment through improvement:

  • improvement for official;
  • improvement for marketing specialist;
  • improvement for engineer.

In this column we will talk about the latter — the improvement for the engineer.

''The main thing is to fit the standards''

I do not know why the heck the general planners, who draw fire passages, decided that they are landscape designers. But how effectively these engineers design playgrounds right to a T so they fit the norms. For example, the project provides 89,5 square metres for a playground — there will be a square with an area of 89,5 square metres exactly, which symbolizes a corral for children. Not a bit more, because the excess is given to the parking zone. With parking, everything is simple — it should occupy all available space of the yard, and all sites should be in the centre of the parking and nowhere else. The more there are black drawings that symbolize asphalt on the general plan, the closer the engineers are to 40 virgins… Wait, can I confuse them with someone else?

A circle, square and stick, symbolizing a path — these are the main working techniques <...> Approximately 70% of all landscaping projects look like this

SES zones will pass exactly on the border of the playground, and if you try to move something at least 10 centimetres, then the whole thing crumbles and explode, and the wave will cover it all. After all, nothing can be touched, ''We have rules and we have just passed examination.'' It is very difficult to communicate with such people. In the summer after dinner nobody can find them. Dacha absorbs these people. Perhaps, the habit of digging for days in manure has grown into a dependence and now even at work instead of a quality improvement project they draw fertilizer?

With a minimal investment of efforts and creativity

There are a lot of such improvement projects. A circle, square and stick, symbolizing a path — these are the main working techniques. In the photo above, there is an example of such project. And yes, although it looks like a concentrate of all the shit that could have happened to the yard, do not delude yourself. Approximately 70% of all landscaping projects look like this.

But the blame for this is not only and not so much design engineers who take responsibility for improvement. The developer often tries to save on the project, because of which in professional circles he or she immediately falls into the category ''fools''. This is equivalent to the assembly of furniture from IKEA, with only the first two pages of the instructions (in addition, you take spare parts from the warehouse).

Engineers in the attempt to survive in these difficult conditions are ready to take any job, and even significantly lowering the market value. When two extremes meet — greedy and hungry — muted horror begins. As a result, it turns out that the cost of the project is dumped, and engineers take on the entire creative component of the project without attracting the necessary personnel. As a result, the engineer draws his vision of improvement, relying only on the inner flair and the incredible fear to break at least one construction norm. And it means — draws with the minimum investment of forces and creativity.

Quality improvement is always expensive. Yes, it's more expensive than just to asphalt everything. But it's possible to make a project for right price

It is impossible to hire a versatile person, who would design networks, arrange parking, design a children's playground, plants the plants. A typical engineer, who has been designing master plans for the last 20 years, most likely has not spent a day of his practice on the creation of landscaping (this is not his competence). The desire to save on the project leads to this. The norms are not to blame. Among the developers there is the illusion that quality improvement is always expensive. Yes, it's more expensive than just to asphalt everything. But making the project for adequate money is quite possible. We need to prioritize. A good yard greatly increases the attractiveness for potential buyers. Properly selected materials reduce operating costs. Also, the qualitative yard allows to ramp up positive public relations through word of mouth. But for this you need to do a complex and long landscaping project that would take into account the economy, to calculate the flow of people and their emotions, the principles of operation and a lot of clever words.

By Nikita Malikov, illustartions provided by the author