An international forum of architects will be held in St. Petersburg from May 12 through 17, its motto St. Petersburg: a Window into the Future. The event is timed to precede the city's tercentenary. The agenda includes a discussion of the present time problems in architecture. The forum is supposed to attract international attention to Russia's Northern Capital. About 90 participants from 19 countries are expected to arrive. Vladimir Yakovlev, the city's mayor, is expected to attend the first meeting. A number of seminars and roundtables will be held while the forum continues. Discussed will be the ways to preserve the architectural image of St. Petersburg and assure its further cultural development. Oleg Kharchenko, the city's Chief Architect said there should be a large number of useful meetings. The city's leading architects will deliver their reports such as St. Petersburg on the Threshold of the New Century, The Reconstruction of the Konstantin's Palace, The New Initiatives within International Cooperation, The Policies of the City's Administration Towards making St. Petersburg the Cultural Capital of Europe, The Concept of Urban Ecology and the Development of the Region's Transportation, Economy, Culture, etc.
The program of the forum has been developed for about a year within a large-scale Internet project. Involved were over 6,000 Web sites pertaining to architecture and art. The coming forum will precede a large number of exhibitions and other events timed for the city's tercentenary. For instance, from May 24 through 27, in St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsly Arena, an exhibition of the works of St. Petersburg's leading architects will be held.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign