A Lecture by Town Planning Expert from the USA Jeffrey Soul Took Place at SUSU

A lecture by Jeffrey Soul, member of the American Planning Association, took place at South Ural State University. The town planning expert delivered a lecture for students of the SUSU Institute of Architecture and Construction.

The meeting became possible due to cooperation of South Ural State University with The U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg, as noted the SUSU Vice-Rector for International Relations, Olga Yaroshenko.

“South Ural State University is actively cooperating with Consulates of China, Germany and the United States of America. Presently, we have students from America studying at the Faculty of Pre-University Training and completing postgraduate studies. We hope that such meetings will favour strengthening of cooperation between our university and the USA in academic mobility programmes for teaching staff and in research sphere.”

Future specialists in the sphere of architecture, design and construction got a chance to not only learn about town planning experience of other countries but also improve their foreign language knowledge as the lecture was held in English. Head of the International Office Liudmila Lapina emphasized the importance of communication between foreign specialists and their future colleagues.

“The U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg offered to hold a lecture by expert Jeffrey Soul, which is especially interesting for future architects and designers. Besides, we aspire to develop international environment at the university, so communicating in person with representatives of other countries is very useful for improvement of understanding American English.”

Within his long-standing career, Jeffery Soul has been performing design of various levels: rendered technical assistance to 39 small towns and 14 settlements in the state of New York, headed the programme of urban renewal in the District of Columbia, developed research and demo projects in rural Pennsylvania. Also, Jeffrey Soul held a number of workshops on locality-oriented approach to planning, and organised educational programmes.

“Our activity always has one goal: to improve the quality of people’s lives. Our objective is to share information about positive effect of urban planning, though paying attention to negative results of incorrect solutions of designers. The value of urban planning is also in caring about preservation of natural resources, cultural values and sights. Planning really changes the appearance of a city, adding something new,” said Jeffery Soul.

The expert explained that urban environment has a direct influence on behaviour of its residents, and the more favourable it is, the more peaceful is the social environment in the city. The expert stressed out the importance of cooperation between companies and universities as well as positive experience of student volunteering teams created to work on issues of town planning. In the course of the lecture, Jeffery Soul paid attention to the necessity to preserve a city’s character and its atmosphere, as well as to irrational financing of town planning and frequently unjustified modernism in architecture. The expert noted that active participation of residents in town planning and hearings as well as persistence in defending their position in a dialogue with authorities is important.

During the meeting, participants discussed a number of other issues and evaluated examples of engineering design solutions in the USA, China and Russia.

“Any international contacts, an opinion ‘from the outside’ and experience of foreign specialists is very important for architects and town planning specialists. We aspire to hold such lectures on a constant basis because students are really interested in them, and thanks to the dialogue with foreign experts they can compare professional approach in Russia and in other countries,” commented Deputy Director of the SUSU Institute of Architecture and Construction, Vasiliy Bolshakov.

At the end of the lecture, representatives of the Consulate discussed prospects of employment of those who are studying abroad and an informal meeting of students with the expert held in English.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova; photo by: Oleg Igoshin
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