First Strategic Plan for Saint Petersburg approved by the General Council at the formal meeting in the Smolny on December 1, 1997




Development of the first Strategic Plan for Saint Petersburg has been completed. After approval of the first version of the plan in July, it was offered for wide professional and public discussion. In August - October the first version of the Strategic Plan was reviewed and discussed by deputies of the Legislative Assembly, departments of the City Administration, members of the Council of Experts, scholars and researchers. Within the Legislative Assembly three permanent committees were established and three other committees discussed the plan at their meetings. The Project Office 'The Strategic Plan for Saint Petersburg' received more than 115 official letters with approximately 500 comments and revisions of sections or specific tasks of the plan.

These masses of information were divided between technical groups for thorough review. Decisions and recommendations of the technical groups were reported about at the sessions of the third City Conference 'The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg'. In the second half of October 15 such sessions were held, where different sections of the Strategic Plan were discussed and approved: 'business climate', 'Foreign trade and transportation hub', 'City transportation', 'City economy and resource saving', 'Industry', 'Tourism', 'Culture', 'Science, innovations, education', 'Telecommunications and information technologies', 'Housing policy and housing construction', 'Ecology', 'Public safety', 'City-planning', 'Social sphere'. Total number of participants - about 900 people.

In this way the plan was elaborated and approved in parts. After incorporating all revisions the final version was created, which was reviewed by the Council of Experts during next two weeks. On November 15 the Strategic Plan was completed and it was sent over to the members of the General Council. The Plan consists of 48 pages, and 115 pages with two main attachments. Besides, 16 separate volumes were prepared, including information charts of the tasks of the Strategic Plan and 14 volumes with materials for tasks' justification prepared by the technical groups.

The meeting of the General Council of the Strategic Plan was held on the 1st of December in the Smolny. The General Council consists of 150 people, representing the City Administration, federal organizations, the Legislative Assembly, the State Duma, business circles, business associations, public, educational, scientific, and cultural organizations. In the hall an exhibition was organized, which provided illustrative material for the major strategies, also a video-film about the Plan's elaboration was shown. At the meeting were present main participants of the process - co-chairmen and consultants of the working groups, members of the Council of Experts, staff of the Project Office, representatives of the World Bank, USAID program, and PARSONS Company - organizations supporting the Strategic Plan development.

Speakers: chairmen of the General Council, governor of St. Petersburg V.A.Yakovlev, executive secretary of the General council, project director of the Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg L.E.Limonov, chairman of the Council of Experts, vice-chancellor of St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance A.I.Muravjov, member of the General Council, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly Yu.A.Kravtsov, member of the General Council, authorised representative of the President of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg S.A.Tsipljaev, member of the General Council, Director of the State Russian Museum V.A.Gusev, member of the Council of Experts, correspondent member of the Russain Academy of Sciences I.I.Eliseeva, co-chairman of the technical group 'Housing policy and housing construction', director of the Construction companies Union L.M.Kaplan, member of the General Council, chairman of the Board of St. Petersburg commercial bank of reconstruction and development D.V.Pankin, member of the General Council, head of the North-West Customs Administration V.A.Shamakhov, member of the General Council, chairman of the St. Petersburg Union of Writers M.M.Chulaki, member of the General Council,, chairman of the Coordination Council on science and technology V.E.Spiro.

The speakers stressed the importance of issuing the Strategic Plan as a document of public consensus reflecting the priority strategies of the city development and ways of achieving these goals. It was emphasized that the existing mechanism of developing the Plan and public monitoring should be preserved in the future. There was an exchange of opinions on the legal status of the Strategic Plan, and in the end the decision was taken that the Strategic Plan should not become a formal law of St. Petersburg, but it should be flexible and serve as guidelines for the City Administration, the Legislative Assembly, and other partners, when making specific administrative decisions.

The Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by all participants of the meeting. The majority of the members of the General Council signed Declaration, in which commitment to implement the strategic Plan is stated. At the meeting the resolution of the General Council with the plan of immediate actions was taken.