17 July 2018
Sergey Levkin: Renovation Should not Start Quickly, Renovation Should Start in a High-Quality Manner
Sergey Levkin: Renovation Should not Start Quickly, Renovation Should Start in a High-Quality Manner

The transformation of Moscow’s image and the urban environment became the focus of discussions at the Moscow Urban Forum 2018, held for the first time in Zaryadye Park. The Forum, the theme of which is "Megapolis of the Future. A New Space for Life", was opened by Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin.

According to Sergey Sobyanin, in early 2010 the authorities of the Russian capital directed the vector of Moscow's development towards the person. Only a city that turns to face the person can become a city for people, a city for the person, the Mayor of Moscow stressed.

During the first day of the Moscow Urban Forum a series of events were held on urban development, transport, technology, and improvement of the urban environment, with the participation of vice mayors of Moscow. The sessions, plenary sessions and panel discussions were attended by approximately 6,000 people.

During the discussion devoted to the prospects of driver-less vehicles, held by Deputy Mayor for Transport and Development of Road Infrastructure of Moscow Maxim Liksutov, the participants agreed that the appearance of driver-less vehicles is only a matter of several years. As noted by former Vice President of General Motors, Bob Lutz, in coming decades the concept of car ownership will disappear from the urban environment. Private cars will become a thing of the past, just like horses as a means of private transport.

Renovation: not quickly, but high quality

At the session on the renovation program "Renovation and the environment. How do major redevelopment projects affect cities?" Head of the Department of City Planning Policy of Moscow Sergey Levkin clarified the city’s position on this large-scale project.  

According to Mr. Levkin, the city is not promising the quick resettlement of people, it is guaranteeing a new, high quality living environment for residents of demolished residential buildings, all the details of the program are carefully worked out in order to proceed in a technological manner. There are standards for the improvement of the territories of new quarters, in which even the height of planted trees is regulated, at no less than 5 meters. A system is in place for monitoring the implementation of the program, as well as a system for obtaining feedback and public control, the Head of the Department of City Planning Policy of Moscow noted.  

Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin set the task of ensuring that people can move from area to area without changing their usual way of life. Today, the first resettlements have already begun and residents are resettled in new homes located as close to their current residences as possible. At the same time, people whose interests are affected by the program are given a choice of apartment, as well as the opportunity to increase the area of their new apartment by acquiring additional space. In total, 400 billion rubles are budgeted for the purpose of renovation from 2017 to 2020, which will make it possible to move to the active stage of the program's implementation by 2019.

Rector of the Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov considers that the peculiarity of renovation in Moscow lies in the fact that the program will change the environment of residential areas. As a result, we will have a qualitatively different environment - intensive use of ground floors and street space will begin. The true scale of the renovation will only be visible after several years, believes Kuzminov.

 What will Moscow be like in the future

The first day of the Moscow Urban Forum ended with an interview by Vladimir Pozner  with the outstanding architect, Rem Koolhaas, on the theme "Moscow. Archeology of the Future".

The Dutch architect told Pozner how his first visit to the USSR in the mid-1960s became for him, then a young journalist, an important step towards becoming an architect. Studying the work of Soviet constructivists of the 1920s and 1930s, in particular Ivan Leonidov, Koolhaas came to the conclusion that he wanted to connect his life with architecture and entered the London School of Architecture.

Koolhaas, who called Moscow the only metropolis in Europe, admitted that he did not know what the city of the future city should be like, and Moscow in particular. As a journalist he is used to dealing with the present, which, like the future, seems to him to be quite a difficult matter. According to Koolhaas, he is more used to trusting his instincts.

 Festival for all

The interview between Pozner and Koolhaas opened the program of the "Connecting Generations" Festival, held from 17-22 July 2018 in Zaryadye Park, within the framework of the Moscow Urban Forum.

The Festival’s program includes premiere screenings of films about the world's megacities, a competition for city start-ups, theatrical and musical performances, and master classes on urbanism. Visitors to the Festival will be able to taste street food from the best Moscow gastronomic start-ups, sign up for excursions and quests around the Russian capital, participate in a photo exhibition, dance a waltz on the stage of an amphitheater, attend a large concert of independent experimental music from artists from around the world, and also exercise in the park. Entrance to all of the Festival’s events is free.


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