White Flowers Boulevard



Location: Russia, Kazan, st. Absalyamova

Description:
White Flowers Boulevard is a park instead of a car park. The new public space, which has become an alternative centre of the district, is located on the site of former paid car parks - trucks were parked here on construction waste mounds. The constant conflict between cars and pedestrians was dangerous, as there was no single and continuous pedestrian route from houses to public transport stop and school. Moreover, parking fields became a kind of alienation space - and shops and business centres began to be built up. The new boulevard is an alternative to parking and unsystematic development for the benefit of residents. The residents of the district, which was built up with standard panel houses in the early 2000s, wanted the new public space to transform the district, have its own "face" and identity. The boulevard was named "White Flowers" after a landmark novel by the classic of Tatar literature, Abdurakhman Absalyamov, whose name is given to the street. The project contains many references to the legacy of the writer, Tatar literature and 1960s Kazan. The project's main challenge was to create a coherent landscape. As part of the synchronisation programmes, before blocking dangerous passages and cleaning car parks, yard passages were repaired throughout the block, convenient alternative exits were made and parking spaces were arranged, so that local residents had many places closer to home and trucks began to park in other places in the city. Within a project the landscape was shaped, fertile land brought in and more than 1,000 large trees and perennial shrubs were planted, mostly with white flowers (referring to the title of the novel "White Flowers"). The trees were immediately planted in large sizes, and very soon there will be real shady forest in some areas that will survive some elements of improvement, and no one will ever think to take away public space from the citizens to serve short-term commercial interests. The project consciously departs from the usual idea of the boulevard as a linear space with a pedestrian promenade and sites along it. Since this is a local public space for locals rather than a city park, there are many different scenarios for use, routes and sites. The functional programme has been created in cooperation with local residents at project seminars. In addition to local residents, many local specialists were involved in the project - landscape architects, transport specialists. At various stages, interested communities were involved - sportsmen, cyclists and dog handlers. In order to create a successful public space, a place that people will love and care for, it was necessary to involve all stakeholders in the project and bring together an interdisciplinary team of professionals.

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