You may never have heard of it but the Russian republic is watching London's skyline from afar
MIPIM is stressful. The Cannes event only lasts three days but with the amount going on it could easily stretch to a year.
I feel like an excited child with too many decisions to make in a sweet shop. There are an amazing number of new schemes here – most have never been seem before - and a lot of them are in places I’ve never heard before.Take Kazan for instance. This is the capital of Tatarstan, that I didn’t even know existed until I was introduced to its deputy prime minister last night – the splendidly named Boris Pavlov.
Tatarstan is a resource rich Russian republic that is keen to turn Kazan into a modern metropolis. Commendably Pavlov emphasized his desire to protect the thousand year old center of Kazan, and develop new buildings sympathetically around it. Through an interpreter he told me he was watching London closely to see how London was going to integrate its new skyscrapers. Expect to see a fact-finding group of Tartars visiting your local planning department soon.
The marquee containing the models of the future Kazan also featured a rich mix of other Russian regions. I was disappointed to miss the Cossak dancing at the Krasnodar Region Stand but happily for me two of their lushiously moustachioed dancers were happy to pose for me afterwards.