The Mashtab Block City Development can be seen as an intelligent way to create a simple and efficient city in the Russian context. The urban mass of most cities consists out of housing. Building houses is however not synonymous with building cities. Can a series of independent blocks make a city? Can their sum be more than its individual parts? The Block City Concept can be interpreted as an exercise in making a city out of pre-cooked standardized blocks.
A Block City is nothing new as we all know classic examples of successful Block Cities from the past. The nicest ones combine the strict order of the block or the grid, with the disorder and variety of individual in fills, thus creating a strong base for a long lasting lively neighborhood. Sometimes new infills appear and an old one disappears. Sometimes a facade changes color or a building changes function. Can we approach these qualities by using the instant urbanism recipe?