Moscow, Russia, ONLINE SCHOOL
Urban School 2023
New heroes: online urban school for corporation in just 42 days
Country wide corporation cares for it employes and launches a set of insider educational courses, made to skill up the employes who could cooperate with town administrations, develop further town strategies, talk about it and make the town life better. Lately, such candidates then could form up a team that could work together in a development town agencies, like it was done in some territories we were working with. Our 10+ years experience in urban practices has been widely praised and we had been invited to held up a course on urban practices for people from regional towns, who had little to none experience in it.

Clients: En+, Rusal

Work: supervising, art directing, content creating, social networking

This online urban course was a step towards opening new chapter in our working timeline. That is starting sharing our experience after 10 years of uninterrupting practice. And we liked it, it gave us lots of fresh energy and ideas on how to scale up our practice for further work.
Natalia Rybalchenko
Igor Makovsky and Natalia Rybalchenko performing, 2023
12 Lectures
Course consisted of 12 online lectures, every one is up to 2 hours, in which we had been talking and showing to the presentaions, answering questions and checking some homework. 6 Lectures featured invited experts. Short summary of lectures is as follows:
  • 1. Introduction

    Presenting the course and invited speakers.
  • 2. Looking for true idea of your town. How to make research.

    1. Why being unique is always win-win in terms of town development.
    2. The true and false uniqueness of towns that can be seen from distance.
    3. External and internal research and how to handle them.
    4. Our typology structure
  • 3. Collecting symbolic capital and thinking of the town idea

    1. How to analyze the made researches and summarize it into the symbolic capital of town uniqueness
    2. How to find a unifying idea, based on the symbolic capital
  • 4. Looking for partners
    and communities to make our town idea live and prosper

    1. Definition of partners
    2. Why having partners are crucial for working with towns
    3. How to search for town heroes
    4. Cold contacting
    with Vasiliy Dubeykovsky
  • 5. Activating that idea

    1. Our classification of town projects
    2. How to activate the unifying ideas with the town projects
    3. What is town branding actually is
  • 6. Working with design and designers

    1. Types of design
    2. Short on communication design
    3. How to work with designers
    4. How to choose design correctly
    5. Design basics for dummies
    6. Lots of relevant examples
  • 7. Maps in wayfinding, merch and unifying residents

    1. What is maps and how we use them
    2. Maps for wayfinding
    3. Maps for merch
    4. Maps for social involvements
    5. Maps for inspiration people
    6. Working with interactive maps
  • 8. He, who controls the town masterplan, controls the future

    1. Masterplans as the spatial urban planning instrument and why it's awesome
    2. Classification of masterplans
    3. Examples of successfuly working masterplans
    4. Creating one yourself
    with Daniil Veretennikov
  • 9. Realizing project in town, pt. 1: Choosing place and in-field researching it

    1. Professional town residents: who are they and how to became one?
    2. How to choose a town location for activating your town idea
    3. How to research that location
    4. List of town projects
    with Maria Bystrova and Petr Ivanov
  • 10. Realizing project in town, pt. 2: Working it through

    1. Choosing a role in the process of activating your town idea
    2. Creating a list of specific actions for job to be done results
    3. How to create a proper passport of a project for further investments
    with Maria Bystrova and Petr Ivanov
  • 11. Realizing project in town, pt. 3: Financial support, investing

    1. Team that you'll need
    2. Creating cost estimate and event plan
    3. List of support organizations that you'll need with proper descriptions of each and any
    with Elena Ermolina
  • 12. How to protect rights and the results intellectual activity

    1. Types of intellectual property that one could face
    2. Rights that could protect them
    3. How to handle rights from client to the owner in all its variations
    4. Some specifications for working with town administration and governments
    with Gennady Belousov and Irina Belousova
Invited experts
Half of content (which is 6 lectures out of 12) came from our partners, whom we invited to talk about things they have rare special experience in. We had been working tightly with our guest experts so that their part would seamlessly fit in our educational program.
  • Vasily Dubeykovsky
    Do like Vasya in Uryupinsk with his most famous town project in whole Russia and his tg channel
  • Daniil Veretennikov
    Architect, urban planner, who is pro at strategies of spatial development of towns
  • Peter Ivanov
    Urbanism as the meaning of Petr Ivanov life and this is his tg channel
  • Maria Bystrova
    Professional town resident in all terms, researcher and this is her tg channel
  • Elena Ermolina
    Works at Center of Business Development in Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug. All works there are made under her supervising.
  • Gennady Belousov
    TaskDone CEO, editor at

  • Irina Belousova
    Patent Attorney in Russia, lawyer at
Materials and design
We've designed more than 1000+ slides for the best visual storytelling experience to make the learning curve be clear, short, structured and fun in places. Here are some small previews:
Course enrollment
We've launched an open call in the corporate intranet for employes and asked them to fill up a form, that could show the real interest in the following subject, experience, and some other skills that could potentially be useful, according to our view. Our target was to get exactly 100 participants at the beginning, to stay productive.
  • 350+ replied

    Filled-up forms that needed to be checked personally and categorized
  • 40 accepted without interviews

    Perfect filled up forms, but found out lacked personal contact lately sometimes
  • 75 interviews taken

    20 minutes per candidate with Natasha (that is ~25 hours)
  • 60 accepted after interview (60%)

    And these ones had been more successful lately
We've got course participants from 30+ towns across Russia that had only one in common: all of them were somehow connected with industry and were typically monotowns. We've made a bright illustration and dedicated it to our students, that shows the broad coverage of our educational initiative.
Igor Makovsky
The fellowship of the urban school
Course statistics
Online schedule was tight and the work was tough, yet we had much more positive results than we expected with only ~30% gave up learning and others stayed working at an expanding rate.
Screencasting has been combined with the chat
  • 85+ participants from 25 teams

    Participants from the single town had been put in teams. The biggest towns like Krasnoyarsk or Izhevsk had three teams, one districts per team.
  • 25+ hours of video lectures

    All lectures stayed available on the corporate platform for the former participants
  • 1068 slides designed

    Visual storytelling was among our course strong sides
  • 42 days

    That's only 6 weeks
  • 18 teams successfully qualified

    While 7 are haven't
  • 234+ homeworks had been made

    ~13 homeworks/team
  • homeworks is 5gb+ in total

    All the files had been manually sorted out between the working teams folders for further usage
  • 20 HSE students involved in process

    For small teams and single participants we found students from HSE to help
Set of our channels and chats for communication with teams (some have sub-groups inside), total of 27
We had lived these 42 days through with our students almost together from morning till night, because when you wake up at 8am in Moscow, it's already 1pm in Irkutsk. All weekends were busy as well, because that were the only free days available for homework for our students, that haven't stopped working on their jobs during the course. They were filled up with personal consultantions.
Natalia Rybalchenko
In the final, every team has completed a set of the following works about their town or district, having in mind a single town idea, they dig out from a personal professional town set of researches and a bit of our help:
  1. Brief info on the place with photoset
  2. Internet research
  3. Set of local surveys
  4. Symbolic capital
  5. Prepared a list of project partners
  6. Took out a unifying town idea
  7. Selection of design references
  8. Made a town map
  9. Created a town masterplan
  10. Complete town project passport, incl. financial planning, set of researches and other
Natalia Rybalchenko
  • Angarsk
    It's about time. Link to the past with a bridge to the future. The town born with a victory.
  • Krasnoyarsk:
    the rightmost bank
    Tram is always right. Understandable. Merch, graffitis, sound album, routes, exhibition tram, night tram, public spaces, coffee shops.
    Not finished
  • Bratsk
    Personal project without a united idea, who developed a dance floor project relevant to himself, on behalf of the team.
  • Yaroslavl:
    Zavolzhsky district
    Zavolzhsky District — Tveritskaya Sloboda. From the initially discussed idea of creating a cultural and commercial cluster on the Tveritskaya embankment, the team went to the festival of valenks.
  • Krasnoyarsk: Central Park
    When it is important to give the park back to the people in a renewed state for the residents to accept it with gratitude.
  • Kurgan
    The concept of the bus plant, that creates buses. Very clear, simple, realistic. The project reveals the topic of the plant as a small town with residents, unique features of the place, infrastructure, route.
  • Komsomolsky settlement
    Above the sky, above the clouds. Creating a route through the settlement to the highest point of Mordovia. Participants have a need to detach themselves from the mono-production in town and look at everything from the outside or from above.
  • Fokino
    Cement capital of Russia with the creation of a cement park decorated with art objects made of cement in the hands of green environment. Very imageatically!
  • Irkutsk: Listvyanka District
    Listvyanka is the first place on Lake Baikal. Specific, clear, meets the needs, realistic also.
  • Irkutsk: Akademgorodok
    Scientifically, the most creative idea, very incendiary and realistic, which is important
  • Ust-Labinsk
    Education with Cossack character. Idea combining two important features of the city, that seemingly cannot live one without other
  • Shelekhov
    Elaborated way how to unlock the potential of the name traveller Grigoriy Shelekhov with town projects
  • Divnogorsk
    Energizes! Most importantly, that this idea energized the team itself.
  • Krasnoyarsk: Solnechny Distric
    The general idea of uniting around the sun topic is of little interest.
    Not finished
  • Likino-Dulevo
    Might be something about busses production, may be not.
    Not finished
  • Nizhny Novgorod: Avtozavod
    A city within a city. Industrial and cultural tourist cluster. The idea seems logical and right for Nizhny Novgorod.
  • Sayanogorsk
    In front of the waterfront or, better say, turn to Enisei. The idea is largely derived from the request of the residents and is able to unite people around it.
  • Neviansk
    Grandfather of the Ural factories. Comprehensive citywide project made by one.
  • Irkutsk: Primorsky District
    Mixture between energizing and the Sea of Angara.

    Not finished
  • Slantsy
    Slants are not slippers. The project is interesting from the point of view of promotion and a good memorable tourist idea, with a witty message.
  • Severouralsk
    The City of Blue Mountains and Little Red Riding Hood. A very precise and imaginative idea that can be revealed through branding, map, wayfinding, route system and art objects.
  • Achinsk
    Achinsk is a town of green public spaces, a city of parks and squares.
    Not finished
  • Kamensk-Uralsky
    Idea is an adjustment of the existing logo illustrating a metal forge and the team request for a more modern and active image of the city. The most positive team of all.
These comprehensive results for 23 projects in 18 towns were collected in just 7 weeks. If to compare with the common process, where research and the following analysis takes almost the same time for the single town only, we got it here multiplied by 23!
Natalia Rybalchenko
New urbanists awards
All the award-winning participants were greeted with series of souvenirs and prizes, like hoodies, urban books and personal invitation to the camp for further leveling up courses.
Elena Fanat from Slantsy
Elena Kozlova and Andrey Petyakin from Komsomolsky Settlement
Tatiana Baranovskaya from Severouralsk
Kamensk Uralsky team
Feedback from students
We got lots of personal positive acknowledgements from the participants of our course and had a few very nice new contacts from the towns we had never been to, yet.
  • … Our process was pleasant, interesting, inspiring, warm, kind, sincere, friendly! Thank you for the special atmosphere and communication, in which we worked and developed and created new things. It was something very unusual and wonderful against the background of work routine. I could never believe this was the first time you have made it. On the contrary, everything was organized competently, coherently and professionally. And I was really fascinated!
    Elena Chekmacheva
  • In fact, the project itself was wonderful, I've listened to every lecture with great pleasure, thank you and Igor very much, just a lot of useful information! Maybe in another month it would be easier for us than at the end of the year, we would be less busy (or maybe not).
    But, in any case, it's great that we have such an opportunity. We will always remember how cool it was.
    Tatiana Baranovskaya
  • Natalia and Igor did a great job, their contribution is invaluable. They gave a lot of material applicable to life. I am very glad to have met you! Your work inspires and makes us all better.
    Polina Omelchina
  • Igor Makovsky
    Course creator, art direction, content, social networking
  • Natalia Makovsky
    Course creator, concept, content, social networking
  • Vasily Dubeykovsky,
    Daniil Veretennikov,
    Maria Bystrova,
    Petr Ivanov,
    Elena Ermolina,
    Gennady Belousov,
    Irina Belousova
    Invited experts
  • Olga Bogomolova,
    Olga Sotnikova,
    Elena Tarasova
    Course managers
  • Katya Semenova
    Corporate intranet communication and educational platform for technical support
    Our awesome connection partner
  • Vera Kurochkina
    Thanks for support and the unforgettable inspiring experience
More projects in Russia and CIS
2015 … 2017
2014 … 2018
2016 … 2018
2016 … 2021