During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
Russian Federation

On 18 September 2020, IRZ supported international online round table discussions on “Urban governance: problems, challenges and perspectives in the present circumstances”. This was financed as part of a project supported by the German Foreign Office. The Round Table was organised by a long-term partner of IRZ, the Russian Committee for Civil Initiatives (KGI), together with the Union of Russian Cities. About fifty leading scientists and academics from the field of municipal law took part in the event, as well as local authority self-administration representatives from the Russian Federation, Germany, USA, China, Spain, Turkey and Finland.

The participants discussed the following three main issues:

  • What has been the reaction of municipalities to the current challenges faced during the pandemic and to the associated socio-economic crisis?
  • How should urban governance policies be changed if the right lessons are learned from the pandemic?
  • What kind of new urban governance will be required once the pandemic is over?

Representing Germany at the event was Prof. Dr. Jochen Franzke, a professor at the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam. His lecture on “What can cities learn from the COVID-19 pandemic? Experiences in Germany” was met with a great deal of interest from the audience. Professor Franzke presented the results of a new research focus by the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam on crisis management by municipalities in Germany compared with other municipalities in Europe.

The round table discussions served above all as a platform for the international exchange of experiences on the subject of urban governance. Even though the event had to be transformed into an online format due to the Coronavirus situation, there were still plenty of opportunities for the participants to join in with the discussions.

In addition, another event supported by IRZ took place on 21 September 2020 under the title “Russian cities following the Coronavirus crisis: Changes in lifestyle, economic organisation and the development of infrastructure”, to which Professor Franzke was also invited as a speaker.