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Konstantin Shestakov: We need not only tourist infrastructure, but also new reasons to visit Vladivostok

Date: May 19, 2024 Time: 14:10:37

Konstantin Shestakov spoke about the development of the city.

Photo: Tatiana KLANOVETS

Vladivostok Mayor Konstantin Shestakov visited the Komsomolskaya Pravda studio at the Eastern Economic Forum and spoke about the improvement of the territory near the Tokarevsky lighthouse, the development of Russky Island and eliminating the consequences of the cyclones that hit the city in August.

– Konstantin Vladimirovich, EEF has become the hallmark of the city, but it is not the only international event held in Vladivostok. Tell us what you remember from the last year and what else would you like to organize here?

– Last year we held a wonderful sporting event, the Asian Children’s Games. It was very dignified. Youth teams from several countries came to us. And this is less about seconds and meters, it’s more about friendship. All the children who came here lived in the Ocean children’s center. I’m sure they left with very good memories.

There should be a large number of such events. I am sure that events with our traditional partners from abroad should be held in Vladivostok. I am convinced that the shift of our economy towards the East requires joint initiatives in the areas of logistics, trade and education.

– Regarding the Philippines. As part of the forum program, she met with Michael Rama, mayor of Cebu City. What did they agree on?

– As a general rule, in these types of meetings we talk about a wide range of joint activities. It’s about economics and humanitarian cooperation. But the first thing we discussed was the organization of air service from Vladivostok to Cebu. After all, for us to be true partners, logistics must be adequate. And now serious negotiations are taking place at the level of the Foreign Ministries and aviation departments of both countries. We talked that it would be interesting to come to Vladivostok to attend events. For example, we have a very professionally organized half marathon on ice – the Vladivostok Ice Run. It takes place on the territory of Russky Island, in the Novik Bay. Not many countries have the opportunity to race on bay ice in winter in a professionally organized event. That could be interesting.

I also said that the people of Vladivostok love saps. And we have such entertainment: in winter our sapists steal a huge ice floe. It was all over the Internet. I am convinced that if Filipino children came to us and participated in this event, they would have impressions that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

– What is your program at the EEF? Who did you sign the agreements with?

– We have a very applied program, actually economical. A concession agreement for the construction of a school with a capacity of 1,100 places was signed with the Development Corporation of the Primorsky Territory. We entered into an agreement with the FSK company, a federal developer, for the renovation of Minny Gorodok Park, a landmark of Vladivostok. I sincerely would like it to become a place of attraction for the entire huge microdistrict and for the city as a whole.

Outside the EEF, an agreement was concluded for the construction of another school in Vladivostok.

Photo: Anastasia KOTLYAROVA/Vladivostok Administration

We signed an agreement with Rosreestr and the FESCO group of companies for the modernization of several sites. For example, FESCO, together with us, will improve the most famous lighthouse in Vladivostok – the Tokarevsky lighthouse. And the surroundings.

– Russky Island is becoming the business center of the entire Primorsky region. What kind of development do you see here?

– The AquaParadise company has already started the construction of a large, important and long-awaited aquatic complex for Vladivostok. The Mantera group of companies received land for the construction of an entertainment theme park. Projects initiated by the president: this is the INTC – scientific and innovation center, second stage of the FEFU.

At the meeting held under the leadership of the president of our country, Governor Oleg Kozhemyako proposed in his report several issues for the development of the city. For example, the creation of a natural park in the central part of the island. This will be a highly sought after area for walking. Creation of a ring road in Russian. The set of issues considered included deep water discharge from treatment facilities into this water area. I’m not even talking about the implementation of projects related to the tourism sector: hotels, recreation centers. This is already the day to day development of the island territory.

– There are more and more tourists from other regions in Vladivostok. How are you going to support this trend?

– Our task is to improve the infrastructure we have. In recent years, new hotel chains have appeared and the Novotel hotel was recently inaugurated. Among the new solutions, the five-star VLADIVOSTOK Grand Hotel & SPA stands out. Now the technical opening took place in the hotel of the large apartment complex Rodina Burny. These are the same ex-Hyatts that needed to be brought in. New meanings must appear. It’s not just about creating infrastructure, but also about creating reasons to visit. The same “Ice Half Marathon” is attended by a large number of children not only from Russia, but also from abroad. The marathon across the bridges of Vladivostok, across the Eastern Bosphorus and across the Golden Horn is also our cult event. We are also strong in gastronomy. I will remember the festivals of mussels, scallops and, in winter, smelt and crabs. I invite everyone to the federal festival “Vladivostok Monsoons” in October. It will take place in the Plaza de los Combatants de la Revolución.

EEF 2023 was traditionally held at FEFU headquarters.

Photo: Maria KAYUROVA

– Last year, the now abolished Rosturism donated 200 million rubles to Vladivostok for the formation of a cultural code. Is this work being done?

– Of course it’s underway. We held auctions, all lots were distributed and we drew up implementation plans. We will complete work in each area before the end of the year. There are many addresses. This includes the training of tourist navigation, the organization of architectural lighting and the formation of a comfortable pedestrian environment. We are remodeling the pedestrian crossings that were created in the past, based on new current standards, making them wide, well-equipped and comfortable. This work will begin after the WEF.

New art objects will appear. Small exhibitions will decorate the iconic Millionka district of Vladivostok. These are the same Chinatowns that existed on the territory of Vladivostok more than a hundred years ago. One of the important tasks will be the formation of Fokin Square, where we will hold small urban events. We are creating an infrastructure that meets current needs. These include high-quality public toilets, a tourist information center, lighting and a stage. Now we are creating this for the city, for its residents, so that the capital of Primorye additionally receives a metropolitan shine.

– In August, two powerful cyclones hit Vladivostok at the same time. What work is being done to eliminate the consequences?

“We will surely survive this, but I would like to point out that there has not been such a level of rain since the mid-1960s. In August, 3.5 monthly norms of precipitation fell in Vladivostok, and the monthly norm fell in 12 hours or less. The entire infrastructure shook. For the most part, though, I survived. A significant number of retaining walls and storm sewers were damaged and many of them blocked. The water pressure was powerful, picking up all the debris from the hillsides and throwing it into the storm drains. Time dictates the need to expand storm drains. We are implementing this project together with the government of Primorsky Krai. They support us a lot, including financially, so that we can quickly move to the creation phase from the recovery phase.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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