Tomsk, 4 December, 2017 – Tomsk State University has become the first in the country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat.

The two bodies will cooperate in such fields as innovations, education and research. The data generated by the research and new training programs launched at the University will help urban planning and design specialists make Siberian human settlements more inclusive, sustainable, environmentally friendly and safe, contributing to a higher quality of life.

The agreement was signed in the Russian city of Tomsk during the Second Forum of University Cities.

“We are pursuing such issues as how the cities should develop, what causes economic and social inequalities, and how to achieve a better balance,” said Eduardo Moreno, the Director of Research and Development from UN Habitat at the signing with President of the Tomsk State University (TSU) Eduard Galazhinskiy.

Critical mass of knowledge

“We are not an academic institution therefore we need the best researchers. Signing this MOU with the Tomsk State University is very important for us because universities accumulate a critical mass of knowledge that the UN hopes to use to identify factors underlying the global problems and to find ways of their resolution,” said Mr Moreno.

The memorandum will also support establishment of training programs at the TSU, to educate public and private sector specialists on urban planning and design, seeking to develop and start teaching an international masters' program on Management of Cities and Regions of the Future, focused on urban development challenges in Siberia, Russia, C.I.S. and Eurasia.

“We invite other cities and universities to join our project, because it is difficult to make the right decisions without substantial evidence,” said the University President Eduard Galazhinskiy.