My name is Vera Kichanova. I am an urban economist and policy analyst exploring the cities of today and tomorrow. My interests range from sharing economy and zoning laws to special jurisdictions and startup nations. I work as a Researcher at Zaha Hadid Architects while writing a doctoral dissertation about private cities at King’s College London.
About me
As a councilor, I campaigned for more transparency and accountability of the municipal government and inspected public spending in dozens of construction and housing projects. On top of that, I shared my experience in my blog and through training young activists all across Russia (which inspired some of them to run for local office as well). My story was told by The New York Times and in a book titled Generation Putin.
My background allows me to look at cities from different angles. At the age of 14, I started writing in a local newspaper — an experience that shaped my academic and professional interests later in life, specifically, my focus on local politics. While still an undergraduate student, I was elected as a member of the Municipal Council in Moscow, becoming one of the youngest elected officials — and the first ever elected libertarian — in Russia.
In 2013, I was honoured with the Democracy Award by the US National Endowment for Democracy and included in the “30 under 30” list of young leaders working for a democratic future. I represented the Russian liberty movement at international events, from South Korea to Iceland to Georgia. My comments were published by The Telegraph, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Spiegel, CapX and FEE.org, among others.
I see my mission in bridging the gap between urban planning theory and free-market policies. In my day-to-day job I help architects to navigate through the labyrinths of municipal governance and generate evidence-based solutions for projects in various cities, from UK to China and from Estonia to Saudi Arabia.
& free-market policies
urban planning theory
bringing the gap between
One of the youngest
libertarian in Russia
& the first ever elected
elected officials in Moscow
ABOUT ME
In 2013, I was honoured with the Democracy Award by the US National Endowment for Democracy and included in the “30 under 30” list of young leaders working for a democratic future. I represented the Russian liberty movement at international events, from South Korea to Iceland to Georgia. My comments were published by The Telegraph, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Spiegel, CapX and FEE.org, among others.
About ME
My name is Vera Kichanova. I am an urban economist and policy analyst exploring the cities of today and tomorrow. My interests range from sharing economy and zoning laws to special jurisdictions and startup nations. I work as a Researcher at Zaha Hadid Architects while writing a doctoral dissertation about private cities at King’s College London.

I see my mission in bridging the gap between urban planning theory and free-market policies. In my day-to-day job I help architects to navigate through the labyrinths of municipal governance and generate evidence-based solutions for projects in various cities, from UK to China and from Estonia to Saudi Arabia.
My background allows me to look at cities from different angles. At the age of 14, I started writing in a local newspaper — an experience that shaped my academic and professional interests later in life, specifically, my focus on local politics. While still an undergraduate student, I was elected as a member of the Municipal Council in Moscow, becoming one of the youngest elected officials — and the first ever elected libertarian — in Russia.

As a councilor, I campaigned for more transparency and accountability of the municipal government and inspected public spending in dozens of construction and housing projects. On top of that, I shared my experience in my blog and through training young activists all across Russia (which inspired some of them to run for local office as well). My story was told by The New York Times and in a book titled Generation Putin.
& free-market policies
urban planning theory
bringing the gap between
One of the youngest
libertarian in Russia
& the first ever elected
elected officials in Moscow
In 2013, I was honoured with the Democracy Award by the US National Endowment for Democracy and included in the “30 under 30” list of young leaders working for a democratic future. I represented the Russian liberty movement at international events, from South Korea to Iceland to Georgia. My comments were published by The Telegraph, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Spiegel, CapX and FEE.org, among others.
About ME
My name is Vera Kichanova. I am an urban economist and policy analyst exploring the cities of today and tomorrow. My interests range from sharing economy and zoning laws to special jurisdictions and startup nations. I work as a Researcher at Zaha Hadid Architects while writing a doctoral dissertation about private cities at King’s College London.

I see my mission in bridging the gap between urban planning theory and free-market policies. In my day-to-day job I help architects to navigate through the labyrinths of municipal governance and generate evidence-based solutions for projects in various cities, from UK to China and from Estonia to Saudi Arabia.
My background allows me to look at cities from different angles. At the age of 14, I started writing in a local newspaper — an experience that shaped my academic and professional interests later in life, specifically, my focus on local politics. While still an undergraduate student, I was elected as a member of the Municipal Council in Moscow, becoming one of the youngest elected officials — and the first ever elected libertarian — in Russia.

As a councilor, I campaigned for more transparency and accountability of the municipal government and inspected public spending in dozens of construction and housing projects. On top of that, I shared my experience in my blog and through training young activists all across Russia (which inspired some of them to run for local office as well). My story was told by The New York Times and in a book titled Generation Putin.
& free-market policies
urban planning theory
bringing the gap between
One of the youngest
libertarian in Russia
& the first ever elected
elected officials in Moscow
Promoting Liberty Worldwide
After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014, being half-Ukrainian myself, I eagerly accepted an offer from Atlas Network to work with a Kyiv-based think tank advocating market reforms in Ukraine. Apart from Atlas, I collaborated with other free market think tanks including Adam Smith Institute (UK), Bruno Leoni Institute (Italy), Juan de Mariana Institute (Spain), Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (Germany) — just to name a few.
My interest in local government led me to the University Oxford Blavatnik School of Government, and later to the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society at King’s College London. While in Oxford, I served as President of the Oxford Hayek Society, a student group founded in 1983 to advance social and economic freedom on campus. In 2020, I had an honour to become a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a network of international scholars founded by Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek.
ACADEMIC LIFE
Promoting Liberty at Home
I have always recognised the importance of economic education for promoting ideas of liberty, hence my involvement in multiple educational initiatives across Europe. Over ten years ago, I co-founded the Moscow-based Adam Smith Forum, an annual conference which since then evolved into the leading platform for discussing market reforms in the post-Soviet world.
Education & Personal Life
I hold a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford and a BA in Journalism from Moscow State University. Apart from my native Russian and fluent English, I speak Italian, Ukrainian, and some French. I live in London with my husband, Peter Kaznacheev, development economist, expert in energy policy, and a pioneer of the Russian liberty movement.