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Voronezh Reservoir strategy takes multi-threaded measures to revive the reservoir and integrate it with the city, that is now divided by the polluted water. The strategy rallies spatial democracy on the shore and allows the citizens to fully profit and enjoy a natural phenomena in the city – it has a potential to become a new ‘city center’ (like Central Park), meant as multifunctional public space, that is attractive for citizens, accessible for all and sustainably using existing resources to improve ecological values of Voronezh Reservoir.
Waterfront and reservoir are heavily contaminated – ecologically and spatially. The quality of water is really bad, while lack of inner current and thick layer of mud prevent valuable flora and fauna from creating an actual micro-cosmos. Furthermore, lack of necessary infrastructure restrains people from using the reservoir area as area of communication between two separate parts of the city. That implies the waterfront being obsolete and empty.
The process of purifying the reservoir and adjusting it to public usage is divided into three parts.
STEP 1 (2015 – 2017)
The 1st phase of the strategy (‘test phase’) focuses on bringing the site to a state where the process of recuperating the needed qualities starts working. Nine test sites located along the shore, in format of differentiated quays, provide needed public spaces, such as a sunbathing platform, bania complex or a market. The piers are interconnected with a boat route divided into two loops, providing fast, collective transportation between the sides of Voronezh city. On the contact point of the two routes – the existing peninsula – water transportation hub is established. Water- and air-filtering platforms oscillate around the piers. Those floating gardens use specific plants to recuperate the quality of air and water in the reservoir, establishing the basis for eco-habitats for fish, birds and insects.The eco-revival strategy is supplemented with implementation of eco-buoys – afloat volumes that stimulate water-flow with two interconnected windmills. The buoys also produce light, so they work as a series of lanterns drifting on the water, providing unique atmosphere and delicate illumination of the reservoir. Using the eco-technology gives the opportunity to get the sustainable, requiring only one-time investment, illumination of the reservoir shore.
STEP 2 (2017 – 2022)
The 2nd phase of Voronezh Reservoir Strategy contains deepening of the reservoir trough (for stimulating the current) and using excavated soil to remodel and thicken the waterfront, providing new sites for city development. The given sites should be maintained by the public-private partnership and always contain a decent percentage of public program. The aim of a public-private partnership is to fasten the land recuperation and establish eco-shore – a zone where city contamination is filtered in the ground (by park plants’ roots), and water pollution is filtered by water-plants of floating islands.
STEP 3 (2022 – 2025)
The new eco-waterfront, densified with public spaces of different forms, becomes the new public center of Voronezh city. An iconic area, called ‘the sea of thousands piers’ renovates the city structure and its ecological footprint. Voronezh gains attractive and justified space, that heals the separate parts of the city, providing them with an attractive and sustainable connector. If implemented successfully and thoroughly, the strategy for revitalizing Voronezh Reservoir could make Voronezh an exemplary and sustainable city, where natural resources are used as complementary city tissue, an eco-raffinery and crucial ingredient of city’s programmatic hedonism.