18 July 2018 #Forum
Vladimir Putin: Moscow Sets the Standards for the Development of Modern Megacities

Moscow has become a true trendsetter in terms of the quality and comfort of the urban environment and sets the standards for the development of modern megacities. This was stated in his speech at the Moscow Urban Forum by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

"During a short period very large, if not grandiose changes have taken place in the capital. New social, business, cultural and living spaces are being formed. Public transport infrastructure is changing, becoming more convenient and accessible: from the Metro and buses to modern digital platforms for taxis.

I know that the Moscow authorities plan to continue the program of creating a high quality urban environment, restoring the comfort of Moscow's streets, while making all of Moscow’s districts as comfortable as the historic center. And these are not just new objects and improvement work - changes to the urban environment in fact even change people’s worldview, well-being and mood," said the President of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, a comfortable urban environment should not only appear in the centers, but also in the regions, believes the Russian President. Russia intends to implement a program of spatial development that will allow the country’s large and small cities to be transformed, and the infrastructure of rural areas to be equipped.

"We are talking about a serious increase in the volume of housing construction, renovation of the urban environment, formation of transport and digital infrastructure, resolution of environmental problems, the development of healthcare, sports and education facilities," he explained.

For the development of Russian cities, it is necessary to use the best Russian and foreign experience, and attract the best specialists in their fields, the Russian president believes. "The younger generation, young people, and in fact people of all ages who are not afraid to dare to propose original and non-standard solutions, must definitely participate in the creation of future cities," added Putin.

It is also necessary to develop vacant territories in cities, Vladimir Putin declared. The responsibility of their owners should be drastically increased, the President of the Russian Federation believes.

Putin paid special attention to the ecological well-being of cities. The introduction of technology to protect the environment, modern processing and recycling of waste, the modernization of industrial facilities, housing and communal services is an indispensable condition for a comfortable environment, considers the Russian President.

Any city can only develop successfully together with its inhabitants, on the basis of account being taken of their opinions, when strong institutions of direct democracy and local self-government function, Vladimir Putin believes. At the same time, city authorities should listen to any criticism from residents when reconstructing objects.

"City authorities are sometimes severely and emotionally criticized for temporary inconveniences associated with the reconstruction of streets, the construction of roads, metro stations. Both sound assessments are heard and, frankly speaking, sometimes those that are unjustified. But what I would like to draw attention to is the following: all of these opinions need to be listened to," said Putin.

President Putin stressed that "the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Semyonovich Sobyanin has shown readiness to take on responsibility, to work consistently, to conduct an open dialogue with Muscovites in the interests of the city, in the interests of city residents."

In his welcoming speech to the participants of the Moscow Urban Forum, Vladimir Putin also drew attention to the fact that the guests of the football World Cup highly appreciated Russian hospitality, sports facilities, the city’s transport infrastructure, public spaces and services, volunteers, medical and communal services, and the police.

"Our guests were not presented with some showcase, not some artificial, short-term appearance, a demonstrative virtual world. No, everything was, as we say, real. The country is changing, this course is consistent and long term, we are investing genuinely huge resources and effort. And this is investment, first and foremost, in the quality of life of our citizens, in creating broad opportunities for the self-realization of each person. We will of course continue these efforts."