Having traveled on a business trip in the city of Yekaterinburg, I honestly felt a real shock. Going there, I was expecting to see another Russian periphery of the Soviet-type, original Siberian peasants, beautiful Ural Mountains, some funny Russian speaking residents and, of course, indispensable participants in the backwoods — the homeless. However, to my surprise, I found myself in a very modern, architecturally futuristic European metropolis, rather similar to Dresden, the capital rather than a remote Russian region. I had to admit that neither Moscow nor my native St. Petersburg even not hold a candle to Ekaterinburg by the visual image of the future, which is so attractive for filmmakers fiction and modern humans around the world.
The first "strangeness" for me was the Koltsovo airport, which seemed to me at least three times the size of St. Petersburg Pulkovo. It sparkles with brand new tiles and imbued with the spirit of modern aviahaba as Domodedovo after reconstruction. When I was traveling by bus to the city, my jaw just dropped open in amazement hopeless and did not rise from the floor to the very end of the road near the railway station. I watched all the way not just friendship, but true love between the glass and concrete — sped past me modern buildings in the style of hi-tech, each of which has its distinctive architectural identity. Not like in the "Moscow City" — the same high rectangles, and construction of complex shapes that do not resemble each other, but perfectly overlap each other with a panoramic view. And the most amazing thing is that they happen to be located not only hotels, offices and shopping centers, but also the urban infrastructure. Walking through the center, I looked into the house completely bizarre resemblance to some sort of a flying submarine — thought it was a bank, it turned out, the Municipal School. Passed a skyscraper, like the space shuttle came into his marble hall and found an elegant concierge, explained to me that this is an ordinary apartment building. And in a skyscraper "Vysotsky" (incidentally, the tallest building outside of Russia and Moscow‘s northernmost skyscraper of the world) in addition to traditional office, retail and hotel space on one of the floors I came across a children’s music school and a development center for teens.
I have the impression that the city of Sverdlovsk in the Soviet construction and just took one giant bulldozer demolished and then rebuilt, already on the latest international standards. A historical and architectural monuments built before the Revolution carefully restored. By the way, these architectural masterpieces — the Opera House, the House Sevastyanovo, Church on the Spilled Blood, Manor Rastorguevo and others — quite harmoniously fit into the new visual look of high-tech metropolis. So the eternal dilemma of the St. Petersburg city center high-rise building can be successfully solved — who do not believe, take a trip to Ekaterinburg. Only the design of the building (and territories) in an intelligent and artistic imagination. And only climbed to the observation deck in the same "Vysotsky", where can see the whole city, I realized that the "scoop" still some places left on the outskirts of the city, but at the unacceptably low for the Russian city of proportion in relation to modern buildings. From the roof of a skyscraper, I also saw that the Yekaterinburg circus from afar like an elven bungalow of fairy tales, tall buildings and almost all have a complex shape with elements of individual style — the bevels, and diamonds, turrets, rounded, spikes, etc. Once in the new residential high-rise, impresses with its architectural appearance (perhaps every citizen wants to live in a house) and talk to its inhabitants, I found out that this is an ordinary residential complex mid-market.
I was wondering why in Moscow or St. Petersburg, when a beautiful house — then surely the elite for a fortune? And if you’re an ordinary person, then welcome to the gloomy "scoop" with his depressive houses-boxes. Why not build a beautiful building right away, or at least having some aesthetic appearance? A comparison of the availability of housing is striking: in Ekaterinburg, with an average salary of 26 thousand rubles 1 meter (not in the center) is worth 49 million (195% of salary — the current European average), while the average salary in St. Petersburg 33 thousand meter would cost 100 million (300%), Moscow — 48 thousand and 170 thousand, respectively (over 350%).
Another interesting observation — in common social canteens, they met me at almost every corner. Yes, in St. Petersburg and Moscow also have several such institutions, but this is the real bug-infested, where decent people do not even think to go. In Yekaterinburg, the same in appearance and atmosphere are the usual fast food restaurants — bright, clean, with good food and comfortable sofas. And visit them all in a row — students, employees, retirees, office "managery." There’s something I soaked all the two days trip, gobbling up a hearty lunch for 100 rubles. A comparison with our business lunches in cafes does not work, because there canteens work from 8 to 22 hours — you can, for example, have a romantic dinner.
Moscow — a good example for those who say that in Russia "live" only Moscow, St. Petersburg yes petroleum province. Moreover, the economic, social, construction spurt that has made this city in recent years, no comparison is not with the dynamics, which shows the traditional capital of the country. Especially the quality of growth, investment performance and investment in human capital. This dynamic is reflected not only in the macro-economic indicators in the region (Sverdlovsk region has long been one of the leaders), but above all visible to the naked eye in the image, which is formed by personal contact with this amazing Srednerussky city. With my own eyes made sure that the federal system of resource allocation, which was conceived even when Yevgeny Primakov became incarnate, and since 2006, operates very efficiently. Although I hinted yesterday that it is not the end, "This is what you have in Novosibirsk were not …" — smiled enigmatically one engineer at a conference on energy.
Photo Gallery from Yekaterinburg: