10k parking lots, 80 years of life, salary — 74k rub: Kazan adjusting Strategy 2030

On 12 December, the Kazan city duma adopted amendments to the Kazan socio-economic strategy until 2030: the life expectancy of Kazan residents has been “increased” to 80 years, the number of parking spaces — up to 10 thousand, the average salary — up to 74,000 rubles. These are just a few key parameters that the capital of Tatarstan will reach for the next 10 years. At the same time, despite the fact that, as officials assure, “Kazan is among the three leaders in terms of the efficiency of the route network”, changes await this network — the winner of the auction, which is still being prepared, will work on it.

How Putin forced Kazan deputies to change the strategy of Kazan

The most hotly discussed issue at the 11th session of the Kazan city duma was the amendments to the Strategy of socio-economic development of Kazan until 2030, adopted five years ago. According to the deputy head of the executive committee, Ildar Shakirov, it defined the key directions for the next 15 years, but over the past five years several significant events have occurred at once that forced changes to it: the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin on national goals and strategic development objectives has been adopted, strategies for digital transformation of key industries have been approved.

“Kazan as a dynamic city of sustainable economic growth and broad opportunities, the leader of the Volga-Kama growth pole, the territory of health, a livable city of active responsible and creative citizens, open government and a safe urban environment. The city where you want to come and where it is interesting for people of different generations to live — this is the goal laid down in the strategy," Shakirov reminded.

The official assured that, despite the tension of the general economic situation, positive results have been achieved in the main strategic areas. The targets for 2017-2021 have mostly been achieved. However, the population of Kazan has grown by only 25 thousand people in five years — up to 1,25 million. But, if we believe the analysts of the executive committee, the average life expectancy among Kazan residents is already 76 years old — and this bar has been laid already for 2030.

From 2017 to 2021, the implementation of the strategy made it possible to build 33 kindergartens for 7,5 thousand places, 13 schools for 15 thousand places. It was possible to increase the share of Kazan residents engaged in sports to 50% — 134 sports facilities have been built. Kazan builders have built 4,4 million square metres of housing in five years. On average, there are 27 square metres per Kazan citizen today. If you believe the officials again, the Kazan transport network is considered by “many experts” to be one of the most modern and convenient among large cities. The adaptive traffic management system organises this movement in the “green wave” mode and ensure priority travel for buses.

“In terms of the efficiency of the route network, Kazan is among the top three among the 76 largest cities in the country," said Ildar Shakirov. “The total number of parking spaces at the beginning of 2021 reached 4,5 thousand, and at the beginning of 2022, the number of parking spaces will be increased to 6,2 thousand parking spaces.

Executive Committee of Kazan has pledged to increase the average salary to 74 thousand rubles by 2030

The situation with the economy is worse: the development of the economic sphere of Kazan took place to a greater extent “under the influence of a number of unfavourable factors”, the executive committee of the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan explained. In difficult conditions, “which could not have been foreseen in advance” (apparently, officials are referring to the coronavirus pandemic), some indicators still managed to be kept at least below the forecast parameters. Except, probably, tourism sector: if in five years Kazan has attracted 14 million tourists in total, then due to restrictive anti-covid measures, the tourism economy of the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan has been “destabilised”. This year, 2,5 million tourists have visited the city, which is still lower than in 2019.

But the gross territorial product of Kazan itself has increased to 859,3 billion rubles in the same four years. The volume of investments in 2020 alone amounted to 185 billion rubles, in 2021 it is planned to increase them to 200 billion rubles. The share of SMEs has reached 40% in the gross territorial product.

As a result, the indicator of the strategy such as the gross territorial product per capita has been adjusted. Today, it is 683,4 thousand rubles per Kazan citizen per year — the executive committee will try to increase it to 1,13 million rubles.

By 2030, they are going to increase the average life expectancy to an ambitious 80 years. New indicators are also being introduced, among which, for example, the “share of apartment buildings with video surveillance” has appeared (it is planned to increase it from the current 53% to 84%), as well as the organisation of such surveillance in public spaces, the level of poverty, and so on. According to the draft amendments, which were adopted by deputies at this session, the unemployment rate should fall to 0,55% — despite that due to the pandemic in 2020, it increased from the same 0,55% to 2,66%.

The share of Kazan citizens engaged in sports should grow to 75%, the share of state and municipal services rendered in electronic form — up to 95% from the current 75%. The poverty level was obliged to be reduced from 4% to 1,7% of the population below the poverty line. The executive committee plans to increase monetary incomes on average per capita from 48,6 thousand rubles to 71,2 thousand, and the average salary — from 45,2 thousand to 74 thousand rubles.

Number of parking spaces in Kazan in 9 years will be 10 thousand

It was the table with the changed and for the first time introduced parameters that raised several questions from the deputies at once. For example, the people's deputies were surprised that the share of public transport in passenger transportation by 2030 is expected to be only 53,1%, that is, in 10 years it will grow by only 2% from the current 51,3%, and the number of parking spaces will grow as much as 10 thousand. Although, Deputy Dinara Khalimdarova noted, there are already “problems with transport accessibility” (no matter what officials say about leadership in the efficiency of the route network — ed.), especially among residents of suburban settlements. In response, Ildar Shakirov, in fact, took the side of car owners, saying that public transport itself should “step far ahead” in terms of quality and will not forcibly transfer Kazan residents to buses and trams:

“The number of cars in Kazan has increased 3 times in 15 years and reached 455 thousand. It is a competition and a temptation [for Kazan residents] to travel by private car or public transport. In order for Kazan residents to make a choice in favour of public transport, it must be accessible and convenient, it must be improved! And the number of parking spaces — yes, we are planning more, this is part of the development of the municipal parking space. Today we have completely covered the centre with parking lots, now we are moving towards the Volga and Novo-Savinovsky districts.”

The fact that the number of planned public transport routes for 2030 has not been adjusted — in 10 years their number should grow from today's 75 to 82, the deputy head of the executive committee explained the need for an auction to select a contractor for the development of a new route network in Kazan. It should also become “economically justified”. Usually in such cases, “economically unprofitable” routes are simply removed or not organised.

The chairman of the permanent commission on socio-economic development, entrepreneurship and municipal property of the Kazan executive committee, Delyus Sirazetdinov, in turn, said that adjustments would have to be made to the strategy once again — already taking into account the coronavirus epidemic, since the situation with it “is not being eased”. Why these adjustments were not made already by the end of 2020 with its lockdowns and restrictive measures that hit not only catering and tourism, but also the same transport, is unclear.

Sergey Afanasyev