The complex development of territories will become the main trend in construction. Will the authorities and constructors manage the complicated ask?

International exhibition forum for realty, investments and territories development projects of the Russian Federation took place in Moscow. One of the main issues of discussion was the complex urban development. And though nobody argued that the approach is right, its methods caused serious controversies.

To build and to build

According to the Housing Mortgage Lending Agency’s (HMLA) research, 60 m citizens of the country need improving their housing conditions. In other words, housing construction is of great demand. But what principles will it be regulated with?

From Mikhail Menn’s, the RF Minister of Construction Housing and Utilities, point of view, infill construction has exhausted itself. And today territories’ complex development is relied on. This approach includes a number of issues: land turnover improvement, redevelopment of former industrial zones, and rational use of intra-city areas.

According to the HMLA’s analysis, more than 2 m sq. meters may be received additionally, and 20—25% of urban territories may be involved in construction. This potential is not used at present. But it is very important as the majority of these territories have engineering infrastructure.

— In this regard, we should clear out what kind of state support for construction is needed in new conditions, — Mikhail Menn remarked. — The mortgage loan state support program will complete in 2016. It means that new mechanisms of constructors support should be worked out.

Support measures have not been determined yet, the minister admits, different variants and opinions are being studied. There are problems hindering the complex development of territories. Many cities have no general lay-out, cancelling free housing privatization is constantly postponed. And it prevents from the market development.

Advantage of standards

— To deal with complex development of territories, it is necessary to work out relevant standards, — Denis Philippov, CEO of the Russian Housing Development Foundation, thinks. — Acknowledged criteria must exist, and the practice of private agreements between municipal authorities and developers should become a thing of the past.

Following Mr Philippov, such development of territories should be based on a number of principles. At present the development is poorly regulated, and an integral housing and advertising space is not formed in the result, improvement is not complex. And if all these components are united, the cities will look quite differently.

It is very important to develop mechanisms how to involve the unused land in construction turnover. At the same time, land plots for development should be allotted only if the approved documentation is available. And one more important principle: a developer should be responsible for the construction parameters and terms.

— If all these principles and standards are observed, it will allow to construct within cities’ boundaries, without constant development of empty spaces, — Denis Philippov stressed.

The whole region is an experimental ground

At present, territories’ complex development is not a theory but the implementation of specific projects. The process fetches way in the Moscow region. It has turned into an experimental ground for testing new approaches for the development of large plots.

According to Andrei Kupriyanov, First Deputy Minister of the Moscow region construction complex, in 2015 10m sq. meter housing was commissioned. It became possible due to the implementation of a number of important innovations. Concepts institute is one of them. Before the beginning of construction main principles and project parameters are adopted.

One more important achievement of the regional government: they managed to decrease the terms of construction documentation approval via electronic documents’ turnover – about 80% of all documents are sent in non-legible form.

Business representatives agreed that these changes add to the efficient development of territories. However, entrepreneurs stress some details which should be paid attention to.

— Such projects should be considered from the viewpoint of both the present and the future, — Managing Partner of GRAVION GROUP, Yury Nemanezhin, thinks. — Not all approaches proposed today will turn efficient.

According to the businessman, much is said about the lack of jobs in the Moscow region. And they are paid much attention to in the plans of the territories’ complex development. But how are these tendencies taken into account on the labour market?

Free-lancing is getting more and more popular. Many companies hire remote workers. So, are numerous office areas and a great number of industrial parks the authorities are demanding from investors so much necessary?

No life without smartphone

The implementation of each complex project takes a time. And soon the new houses will be inhabited by present youth. What are their demands?

To study their purchasers’ pool, the Klin brewing company carried out an interesting investigation: young people from 18 to 22 were asked what they first need in their lives. The first place was taken by smartphone, the second – by sex. When they were asked what they would do without a smartphone, about 60% were surprised how that could be.

So, these are the people who in some time will determine the housing demand.

At present in industrial countries, infrastructure for charging electric devices and gadgets is created while developing new territories – it is an example of targeted audience’s demands taken into consideration by developers.

Another acute issue is how to use social infrastructure. Educational-amusement centers are popular in Germany: both children and adults may find occupation to their liking there.

— In the Moscow region, the authorities try to decrease the number of second schools. But it means that half a day the schools are empty, — Yury Nemanezhin continues. — Why not build them so that they could be used as leisure centers?

It is important that a territory development should be complex from the very beginning, HBD of “Granel” GC,Andrei Tsvet, thinks. A project becomes partly obsolete while it is being constructed: there were a lot of examples when a new residential area was designed together with a parking, but in some time it turned out that there was not enough place to have a walk with children. And at the same time a number of car-places stayed unoccupied, as well as offices on the ground floor of the houses located in side streets. Business does not want to rent or buy them.

From complexity to self-sufficiency

— We shall never be able to develop territories efficiently unless we project for 20—25 years ahead, —Ilya Zalivukhin, CEO of the “Yauzaproject” architectural and urban development company, is sure. — The Moscow governments works out requirements to them correctly: they include creation of social engineering and transport infrastructures and jobs. But these targets may be achieved only on condition of housing price decrease, infrastructure expenditures including budget expenses decrease.

In this regard, according to the architect, construction within cities’ boundaries should be a priority. If houses are constructed on new territories, many requirements will appear inexecutable.

A simple example: in buildings within city boundaries ground floors will be very much demanded by business for rent or buying, and they will be of no use on the outskirts.

The Moscow region has a great potential – there are many towns with good prospects. But this potential is not used properly. These opportunities may be realized only via investors’ attraction.

— Dealing with territories’ complex development it is important to gain economic sustainability. If they manage to do it, the goal is achieved, Ilya Zalivukhin resumes.

Top Five Trends In Legal Technology

Having worked in the legal industry for nearly two decades, I’ve seen our industry undergo a number of changes throughout the years. Most recently, as the workforce has become more mobile and more tech-savvy it seems the changes are coming more rapidly than ever before.  As a result, law firms and corporate legal departments across the world have been forced to change as well. Where once they could get by with very little investment in the latest legal technology, now choosing and implementing the right software applications is top priority. The only challenge is determining which innovations to bet on.

I recently participated in a panel discussion on this very topic. We examined emerging technologies such as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and discussed their impact on the legal industry today and in the future. Some we ruled a flash in the pan, while others we agreed would be here to stay. If your business is sorting through the same puzzle pieces, these are the top five correlated trends you should be watching.

Mobile Applications

Whether you use an Android or an iPhone, the functionality and performance across today’s mobile devices are all very similar. As the hardware has matured and the rate of device innovation and differentiation has slowed, the focus has shifted to ubiquitous access to data. Mobile browsers were the first step to realizing this access, and today it is achieved through mobile applications (apps). We already use apps every day for social networking, banking, traveling and other personal activities. Over time, highly specialized platform agnostic applications are making inroads into legal. With these apps, professionals will be able to practice law anytime and anywhere they have a data connection, eliminating the need to always be near a desktop and in turn improving client engagement and satisfaction.

Movement To The Cloud

There is no doubt cloud technology has caused major disruption for legal and other industries. At my own organization, we recently saw a record level of adoption and migration from our customers to the cloud, and it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing. The beauty of the technology is in its elasticity. Firms no longer have to build their IT infrastructure to a size to handle peak need, which they don’t need most of the time, and then double that for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes. From a utility perspective they simply pay for what they consume when they need it, which saves not only money but time and resources as well.

Security

As mobility and cloud computing overtake traditional desktop and paper file usage, security is a great concern for law firms and their clients. While currently there is no formal legal industry standard for security of data in the cloud, the good news is that technology in this area is maturing. Governance technology that dictates where and for how long information is stored and by whom it can be accessed will play a very important role in keeping firms protected. The ability to encrypt data both at rest and in motion and enforce multi-factor identification will also be critical for firms as the baseline of legal technology.

Analytics

There is a staggering amount of data and metadata within a law firm or corporate law department. The amount of relevant data for a client or matter only grows the longer a case or client relationship continues. Add to that the enormous amount of data in court records, research services, and eDiscovery platforms and the ability to manually search or govern these data sets becomes impossible. The advent of analytic search engines help bring order to the data from and Information Governance and search relevance perspective. Machine based software that reviews millions of data points allows for trends to be found which would otherwise be missed by the human eye. This increased efficiency means money saved for both firms and clients, and also adds an incentive for professionals to use systems that also comply with their firm’s information governance policies.

Artificial Intelligence

Though still in the early stages, artificial intelligence (AI) promises to push the envelope of current analytic capabilities from purely descriptive to predictive. Some examples include mapping the predispositions of different judges to predict rulings, or understanding the most common tactics used by opposing counsel to prepare defenses. At current time, regulatory law seems to be most amiable to AI because of the prescriptive nature of its statutes but as technology evolves and machines are taught to think more like attorneys, the opportunities will be endless.