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



Saint Petersburg is the first city in Russia to develop a strategic plan. The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg differs both from other types of plans and from strategic plans developed for Western cities.

An innovation in Russian practice is the fact that from the very beginning development of the plan was open and democratic. The open character of the planning process came from the use made of public hearings and committee meetings, as well as from the fact that all intermediate results and drafts were published in the mass media and all comments and proposals received were reviewed and analyzed.

The Strategic Plan for Saint Petersburg should be distinguished from similar documents developed for Western cities, since the transitional period through which St. Petersburg and Russia in general are going is characterized by incomplete market reform in a number of industries and by an urgent need to develop a regulatory and institutional framework. This explains why the Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg contains, besides measures to develop the city's key industries and improve their competitiveness on the local and world markets - measures which are traditionally to be found in strategic plans of cities with a developed market economy, - additional sections aimed at establishing a favorable economic and investment climate, at restructuring the city's public utilities and at improving the productivity of expenditure from the city exchequer.

The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg is characterized by the following specific features.

Focus on what is important for the competitiveness of the city. Traditional strategic planning by companies in business is based on assessment of competitive advantages and weaknesses and on selection of a market strategy. Like businesses, cities are situated in a competitive marketplace and have to fight to attract investments and create new jobs, i.e. in the final analysis, fight for improvements in quality of life and development prospects. In order to achieve the latter, a city must continually identify and strengthen its own good points; and must understand what functions of the city can and should be developed, and what obstacles lie on the way to the chosen goal and how these obstacles may be eliminated. These are the main objectives of a strategic plan.

The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg is a short document. It focuses on the principal and most promising directions for the city's development, such as have been identified on the basis of analysis of the city's potential, the strengths and weaknesses of its geopolitical position, and potential scenarios for the development of Russia and the rest of the world. The plan contains ideas and principles which provide orientation for the business community, potential investors, the city administration and the general population of the city, helping them to make decisions based on insight into future developments. The Strategic Plan does not cancel or supersede other types of plan. It is not a comprehensive plan: it identifies development policies only in areas which are of first priority for the city.

Partnership in preparation and implementation of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is not a purely administrative document. Rather, it constitutes a consensual public contract under which the city authorities, businesses and public organizations take upon themselves certain obligations. It has been developed and will be implemented by all stakeholders with an influence on the development of the city and by, and with regard for the interests of, the general public. The plan provides guidelines for the whole city and gives a clear picture of future developments to business people, the city authorities, citizens, as well as to potential investors from abroad.

The Strategic Plan is not a directive, but a compilation of consensual and reasonable requirements addressed by businesses to the city administration. It is an agreement on specific measures of strategic importance for the city to be taken in the interests of both citizens and industry. The process of strategic planning focuses on arriving at a public consensus - on involving a wide range of stakeholders in the making of decisions and therefore in the implementation of such decisions.

Combination of long-term vision and specific actions for immediate implementation. The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg identifies not only long-term goals and development prospects, but specific measures as well. It is a long-term plan, since it includes detailed forecasts and concerns measures which will have long-term consequences, but it is also a midterm plan (4-6 years) in the nature of the measures it contains.

The main section of the plan formulates the city's main goal and principal strategic objectives, whilst the appendix contains goals, specific objectives and measures, i.e. a plan of action. For most of the measures given those who are to participate in their implementation have been identified, performance indicators have been set, and costs and benefits evaluated. Thus the Strategic Plan does not merely declare what needs to be done; it also shows how to do it. The city authorities, St. Petersburg's businesses and its active citizens will be able to use the targets they have worked out together to join forces in implementation of the plan.

Commitment to permanent work on the Plan. Work on the Strategic Plan will not cease upon its approval and publication. Implementation of the plan will be monitored. Moreover, organizations set up for the plan will be preserved. There will be annual reviews of the progress of implementation of the plan, and, where necessary, the plan will be revised.

By developing Russia's first strategic plan, St. Petersburg has shown a high level of public consensus with regard to the city's main development priorities, as well as a high level of political culture and business and public activity. St. Petersburg is the birthplace of many new ideas. The open and democratic approach to identifying goals for development and for formation of social and economic policy, as demonstrated in St. Petersburg in the process of drafting the Strategic Plan, opens up new opportunities for other regions too and points to new methods of resolving social and economic problems.