Tomsk foreign students design a map of international street-yard

The workshop Smart Tomsk-2019: foreign students’ image into the international street-yard was held on 30 March 2019 at the Business Incubator of Tomsk Polytechnic University. At the workshop English-speaking students from different Tomsk universities and different countries such as India, Iran, Columbia, Indonesia, China, Algeria, Sudan, Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Italy, Poland, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Guatemala, Morocco, Vietnam, and Thailand developed the solutions of a comfortable space of an international smart street-yard in Tomsk. 

The event was organized within the framework of two international projects - Co-creation of EU Human Smart Cities and Living Laboratory in Tomsk: experiment No.1.

Natalia Goncharova, the coordinator of the project Co-creation of EU Human Smart Cities at TPU notes:

‘Representatives of over 60 countries live and study in Tomsk. This is a great value and pride for residents, and it is very important to take into account the needs and interests of foreign guests while improving urban spaces.

We held a workshop where international students jointly designed a smart street. The results of this experience can be a starting point for the joint design of public spaces in Tomsk: attractive, comfortable and “native” both for Tomsk residents and foreign citizens.’

At the workshop, the students visualized their personal views of an ideal public space, made up a mental map My Tomsk, proposed traditional culture attributes and smart technologies that could be introduced into the urban environment. As a result, the international students united and in two hours elaborated a common concept of a comfortable and modern multicultural street in Tomsk.

The workshop moderator, TPU master student Tamara Smorygina says:

‘The students shared their ideas on how to make Tomsk more interesting, more comfortable and attractive for the guests and residents of the city. Among the ideas are: basketball and football playgrounds, open-air camps, pedestrian zones and streets with limited automobile access, fairs and festivals to show performances; an international café with variable national cuisines, libraries on roofs, multicultural spaces with street arts of different countries;

They proposed to develop smart bus stops and street furniture with WiFi and charge systems for gadgets, a multi-language navigation system and bicycle sharing service; to build street booths for getting warm in winter and drinking water fountains for drinking in summer; bright colors to be added to the city architecture; ‘smart’ asphalt that does not form ice, and much more.’

According to Tamara, the organizers succeeded to systemize the experience of international students both as the users of ‘smart’ technologies, and active citizens, as well as to track student behavior models in the urban environment. After the workshop, many participants took an interest in implementing citywide projects as idea generators, experts, and analysts. 

The workshop was also attended by representatives of the program 100 City Leaders of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives from the cities of Tyumen, Yaroslavl, Sosnovy Bor, Gatchina, Kronstadt, Jakutsk, Zheleznogorsk, Polyarnye Zori, and Kirovsk. They visited Tomsk Polytechnic University in order to learn from the best practices gained by Tomsk in the participatory design of the urban environment and to get acquainted with the method of the creative workshop.