Area study
Needs and expectations of «Kronprinz» tenants and residents of adjacent areas in relation to the development of «Kronprinz» barracks
RU
The study indicated insufficient development of public spaces, cultural services and practices in the city on the whole, and the focus area in particular. At the same time, «Kronprinz» neighborhood is located within 10-20 min walking distance from several popular public spaces (Upper and Lower lakes, Yunost Park, Tributsa Embankement) and cultural institutions, primarily museums, such the Museum of Amber, Arts and History Museum and King's Gate). Besides, being a part of the historical fortification ring and Schneider's green belt, the park area «Litovsky val» is situated in the immediate vicinity of «Kronprinz» barracks. It can perform a function of a comfortable route connecting «Kronprinz» with other cultural and historical sites of the city center. However, due to impeded access and poor maintenance of the park, it is not popular in the local community. Shops, green areas, service and catering establishments and educational institutions (for people with children) – these are the main «services», consumed by the residents in the area.

As far as representation of cultural institutions in the area is concerned, the «Kronprinz» neighborhood is quite special. On one hand, almost all of them are situated beyond the borders of the area (it's only a children's library that can be found within the district). On the other hand, those cultural institutions which are located beyond the borders of the area, but within the walking distance from it, do not imply regular return visits by the same people. They offer a stable product (e.g. permanent museum exposition), but regular educational services (lectures, workshops etc.) and other services increasing their attractiveness (cafes, coffee places) are missing; they do not stimulate development of urban environment and citizens' activities. In result, respondents of the survey have quite modestly evaluated cultural and leisure offer available in the area, which testifies for the lack of relevant places, institutions and opportunities.

Appraisal of the level of development of cultural and educational services and demand for them in the residential area depends on whether or not respondents have children. Due to the lack of relevant offer in the residential area adjacent to «Kronprinz», to reach educational venues many local children have to either go by public transport or walk for quite some time. Therefore, that's the residents of the area raising children, who are the most interested in the development of education and leisure opportunities in «Kronprinz».
What is the territory of «Kronprinz» barracks and its neighborhood today? Who works and lives here, what are they missing in this area and what can be changed? Here is a fragment from the study on the current condition of «Kronprinz» barracks and adjacent area, undertaken by the social researcher Anna Alimpieva, PhD in Sociology, in the framework of UrbCulturalPlanning project.
Text:
Anna Alimpieva
Today «Kronprinz» barracks have a reputation of an iconic, but poorly maintained, historical building and cultural monument. Apart from history of fortifications, «Kronprinz» evokes associations with the Soviet past and post-Soviet developments. Many residents of the area do not have a clear vision of what is happening at «Kronprinz» today. Only some of «Kronprinz» tenants, first of all the institute of design (Moscow State University of Technologies and Management) and club and café «Amsterdam» were clearly identified and mentioned by respondents of the survey. Emotions mentioned by respondents in relation to «Kronprinz» include regret about poor maintenance of the site, excitement about the beauty of the building and hopes for some new life for it. Generally, respondents quite highly appreciate attractiveness of the site, but it's only few of them who really go there, others do not have reasons to come and consider barracks and adjacent area as not very comfortable ones.

The residents of the area are almost unanimous about the need to reconstruct and improve maintenance of the «Kronprinz» barracks. Suggested ideas on what exactly to be done include landscaping and brining more greenery into the yard, which has to become an area for leisure and a venue for various events; establishment of new institutions at «Kronprinz», whose nature would make it a creative cluster and attractive urban space; organization of various artistic, educational, sports, cultural and entertainment events addressed to various social groups, including children, teenagers, youth, retired people, creatives, tourists etc.

Despite the fact that the residents of the adjacent area are hardly aware of the Baltic Branch of the National Center for contemporary Arts and its activities, they show interest to its future activities on the territory of the barracks. First of all, they are interested in educational activities for children and adults, exhibitions, open air-events and creative practices.

Thus, the study shows that the demand of the residents of the area for cultural and educational services, accessible spaces for leisure and recreation and events is not satisfied. At the same time, there is a problem of poorly maintained urban environment both in the immediate vicinity of «Kronprinz» barracks and in the adjacent area on the whole. Recent activities of the regional government indicate that there is a chance for transformation of the adjacent industrial zone into a green area.
Development of NCCA's activities at the «Kronprinz» barracks will help improving maintenance of the site, activating local communities and engaging local residents into development processes.