Understanding an unknown market
M2R.Market Research Russia
Client: Dutch Creative Industries Fund
Programme: Market research into the potential of Russian cities for Dutch design related expertise in architecture and urbanism
Why a market research? And why Russia? A country that has been embargoed by a large part of the western world. The answer is not simple and it is a mix of more general considerations and professional ones.
First Russia is a big country and therefore a big market. It has by far the largest territory that houses 142 million people, the world’s 9th largest population. According to the World Bank, its economy is the 10th largest and has been growing significantly in the last 2 decades. Despite the sheer size, the population is largely concentrated west of the Ural Mountains and with an urbanization rate of around 75% – comparable to that of Germany – largely concentrated in a relatively small number of larger cities. Therefore the architecture and urban development market – despite the size of the country – is rather focused. This allows achieving a high degree of market penetration with limited resources.
The settlement patterns of all Russian cities with the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg were quite similar. This means that everywhere problems are big. Transport breakdowns, dilapidated housing stock, shortcomings of the socialist urban development model, deindustrialization, suburbanization – all these phenomena can be observed everywhere and all over the country – all on the background of a country in transition from the socialist regime to a new, yet not fully defined model. It therefore is the scale of the challenge its complexities that make Russia interesting to architects and urban planners equally.
For the market research we have been employing a non-traditional approach since we felt that – while data evaluation can give a rough overview – many trends and promising leads happen underneath the radar. We therefore combined several methods to form our own approach.
We hope that this market research delivers the interested leader valuable insights into Russian architecture and urban development markets. We hope it helps you as much as it did help us in defining our own strategy in how to operate in Russia.
2014-2015 Market Research
MLA+: Markus Appenzeller, Yana Golubeva, Violetta Gunina, Brechtje Spreeuwers, Martin Probst, Mikhail Stepura, Viktor Korotych, Anastasiya Khitrina, Olga Begovatova