Address by the Governor of St. Petersburg

Declaration of the General Council
The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg
The Main Goal and Principal Strategic Objectives
The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg: Main Bearings



Jakovlev V.A
In the new social, economic and geopolitical conditions prevailing today one of the most pressing needs for St. Petersburg is to define its role in Russia and in the world. Under the new conditions changes of priorities are essential if strategies are to be developed which will make the city truly competitive.

As world practice has shown, it is precisely situations of this kind which make it vital for a city to have a strategic plan. A strategic plan makes it possible to unite a city's administration and the rest of the urban community to work together in transforming employment patterns, technologies and the urban environment. In the light of this understanding and in its desire to create new tools to accelerate the development of St. Petersburg and enhance the city's competitiveness, the city administration of St. Petersburg initiated the development of the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan is not, as was previously the case, a document merely reflecting the preferences of a city administration. Rather, it is something that has been developed and implemented by all participants with an influence on the development of the city; it has been developed with due regard for the interests of the community, with an active role being taken by the city authorities.

The Strategic Plan is not a directive from above, i.e. from the city administration to business enterprises. On the contrary, it constitutes a set of consensual and reasonable requirements presented by business to the city administration - an agreement regarding specific measures which are strategically important for the city and which the city should take in the interests of business and the community. Thus, the planning process involves the creation in the city of a mechanism of strategic partnership, a mechanism for identifying development strategies and for ensuring coordinated implementation of such strategies.

It is clear that partnership is possible only if it is effective for all parties involved. And this is something that we have managed to achieve. Businesses and organizations that have joined in the process have gained an opportunity to argue for the priority of the fields that they represent, and accordingly are able to expect understanding and support from the city administration.

For businesses in the city the Strategic Plan has provided a forum for dialogue not only with the city administration, but also with those businesses' own local business partners and competitors. The standing committees and working groups set up for the Strategic Plan have enabled each participant to collaborate with its partners not only in elaboration, but also in implementation, of joint actions aimed at developing particular spheres.

The city administration, for its part, has gained in the Strategic Plan a mechanism for open liaison with the business community and the general public - a feedback link which makes it possible to focus actions by the city authorities in the interests of publicly accepted goals and objectives.

St. Petersburg's citizens have also been involved in the process. They have been able to influence strategic choice through the system of public debate and participation in the planning process. The Strategic Plan provides every citizen with assurance that the authorities are in control, are aware of the needs of the population, and that St. Petersburg will be a city where it will be possible to live rewarding lives and work productively.

The planning process has taken from November 1996 to December 1997. The Project Office, set up at the Leontief Center specially for the Strategic Plan, was able to draw in prominent experts, influential polžiticians and powerful industrialists who, after examining development trends, formulated strategic priorities and proposed specific measures to be recommended by the Strategic Plan. Three public conferences were held, as well as dozens of workshops and meetings. Hundreds of experts and several thousand citizens were polled. Intensive work was carried out by 14 thematic committees and several analytical groups. A system of strategic-planning bodies was established, comprising the General Council and Executive Committee for the Strategic Plan, the Council of Experts, a methodological seminar, thematic committees responsible for specific strategic objectives and individual problem areas, and the Project Office.

One of the documents developed as a result of this work was the text of the Strategic Plan, an exposition of which is contained in this publication. The plan's principal contents are formulations of the city's main goal, strategic objectives, goals, specific objectives and specific measures.

The full version of the plan comprises more than 1,200 pages and includes a further 16 volumes, including a set of information charts listing measures to be implemented and particular strategies for specific areas.

If we have to summarize the job done, perhaps the most important outcome is that we have developed a system of thematic committees and working groups, bringing together civil servants, business people and public figures involved in the implementation of the specific measures identified by the Strategic Plan; moreover, this system continues to expand and consolidate.

It is not every city that is capable of developing a strategic plan. For the latter to happen, a city must have not only development potential and resources, but also a high level of public consensus and a readiness to put the identification of key priorities for the city above private and departmental interests.

St. Petersburg is famous throughout the world for its eminent figures in the fields of art, culture and education, for its scientific schools and industrial workforces, its splendid museums and theaters, and its historical and architectural monuments. It has a unique history which is reflected in every part of its image as well as in the mentality of its citizens. The beauty of St. Petersburg's physical environment, especially in the center, its citizens' high standards of education and culture, their love for their native city, the romantic and mesmerizing image of St. Petersburg, and the important role played by the city in world culture and the modern economy - all of these constitute foundations upon which to build a development strategy and attract to the city funds and resources from outside.

For Russia St. Petersburg is not only an important transport, trade and industrial center. It is the second most important city in the land, having managed to preserve many of the characteristics of a capital city in terms of the quality and variety of its urban life and the high standards of its business, education, science and culture. It is the ex-capital of the Russian Empire - "Resplendent St. Petersburg", the city loved and cherished not only by all Russians throughout all parts of Russia, however remote, but also by all citizens of the former Soviet Union.

The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg has been signed by the vast majority of those who have taken part in its preparation, who have thereby assumed an obligation to work toward the implementation of the measures contained in the Strategic Plan and to abide by the priorities specified therein.

Those measures in the plan which are to be undertaken by the St. Petersburg administration and/or depend upon resources to be provided by the city are to be found in a separate section entitled "Plan of Action to be Undertaken by the City Administration in order to Implement the Strategic Plan", which I shall be monitoring personally on a continuous basis. A similar plan of action is vital, I believe, for the Legislative Assembly, upon which depends the development of a legal framework for the implementation of the plan's strategic goals, as well as allocation of funds from the city budget to finance specific measures. It is through such plans of action that we shall be able to coordinate our day-to-day administrative activities with the strategic goals given in the plan.

In signing the Strategic Plan on behalf of the city administration, I hereby commit myself to do everything in my power and in the power of the city administration to assist the attainment of the goals contained herein. I am confident that the same can be expected of all other participants in our strategic partnership - participants who are drawn from the city's most influential and best qualified forces, people who are sincere in their determination to ensure prosperity for St. Petersburg. This constitutes a pledge of the implementation of the Strategic Plan.