Georgy Kamnev posts reaction on Arbekovo household store opening instead of children’s cafe
Penza, 16 February 2016. PenzaNews. Georgy Kamnev, first secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, has posted a reaction to the PenzaNews information that the building No. 50 on Stroiteley prospekt in Penza, formerly a prospective location of a children’s ice-cream cafe by the company “Ledyanoy Dom,” will instead serve for a household store.
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“What is the difference between the Soviet approach to housing development and the modern capitalist approach? In the USSR, they had a general plan that dictated the housing development process. The plan had places for social and cultural institutions, schools, kindergartens, cafes, shops. By rejecting the state housing planning system in the economy, we also rejected the Soviet general plans in housing development. For 25 years now, infill development has been the king in all large cities. Investors are guided by profit, rather than citizens’ demands or city infrastructure capabilities. As a result, we have increased load on supply pipelines, traffic jams, disproportionate growth of shopping space,” the leader of the Penza Communists wrote in his Facebook, calling the Arbekovo residential area a by-the-book example of such development.
“First, they cut down the grenery, then built a four-floor building right next to the adjacent apartment building, violating the housing isolation principles. And now, they are going to open a shopping center there instead of the promised children’s cafe,” he stressed.
At the same time, Georgy Kamnev noted, there are examples when the authorities intentionally rejected the infill approach to city development.
“For example, Novosibirsk, thanks to a complex-oriented housing development approach, received over 1,700,000 sq. meters of newly-built housing over the past year – more than a square meter per person, a level that was unattainable even during the Soviet period. The Communist mayor Anatoly Lokot explains the success by saying that complex-oriented housing development is beneficial not only for the city and the citizens, but also for real estate developers. The first companies to get hit during the crisis were those involved in infill construction,” the deputy explained.
In his opinion, Penza needs a general city development plan that has the force of a law, in order to avoid the incidents equal to the one that happened in Arbekovo.
“Unfortunately, right now, the city has been disfigured with unregulated construction, ‘temporary’ kiosks, ginormous shopping centers, makeshift parking lots, and other workings of ‘the invisible hand.’ Sooner or later, this problem must be solved. Those who are currently constructing buildings with violations must realize that bribery and patronage by state officials will not protect their buildings from being demolished in the future,” concluded the first secretary of the CPRF regional committee.