January-March 2017 #1 (17)

Moscow wasn’t built in a day. This saying has been popular in Russia for centuries, but doesn’t look relevant today.  It would be a challenge to find a city that is developing as quickly as the Russian capital. Previously unused spaces are quickly being replaced with modern business centers, abandoned buildings are converted into technoparks, and barely paved streets have turned into elegant pedestrian areas. Even the foreigners who come back to Moscow after being gone for a year are surprised by how much the city has changed, not to mention the people who remember what Moscow looked like during the Soviet era. For them, the appearance of multiple cafes and restaurants, cosy hotels, different shops and phenomenal parks is akin to living on a different planet!

Yes, Moscow is improving by the hour, becoming more comfortable for both living and working. This is constantly confirmed by the heads of foreign companies in Moscow, as well as foreign businessmen and investors who travel here for work. Across the pages of Capital Ideas, all of them say that they don’t miss home nearly as much as foreigners used to during the Soviet era, for example, when everything about the city seemed difficult and unfriendly. Now, expats are free to enjoy their favorite food and live the kinds of lifestyles they’re accustomed to. These days, Moscow has absolutely everything that one would expect a modern city to offer. The famous actor Pierce Brosnan, who came to Moscow for the first time two years ago, wanted to get a real feel for the city so desperately that he ran away from his bodyguards early one morning. After walking around by himself for sometime, Piers said, during a press-conference: “I got an excellent impression. I want to come to Moscow again!”. Here is what another celebrity, Hugh Jackman, had to say about the Moscow metro: “We went into the metro and truly saw something amazing. Around us, hundreds of people were rushing to get to work and not paying attention to their surroundings, and we stood there with our jaws dropped open.”

It’s important that the Moscow government is making changes in a way that strikes a balance between the interests of investors and city residents. The authorities adjusted their ideology, making the city’s development more comprehensive and gentle. For example, the development of depressed industrial areas prioritizes improvements to transport infrastructure and communications, as well as improvements to surrounding areas.

Among the most large-scale and ambitious projects that ensure better standards of living, it is important to point out improvements to the embankments of the Moscow River. This is a truly grandiose project. Suffice it to say that the length of the river within the city amounts to 80 kilometers. Up until now, only 7 percent of the river’s embankments were accessible to pedestrians. In London, on the other hand, 76 percent of Thames River embankments are accessible. 52 percent of the Seine River embankments are available to pedestrians. The main objective of the Moscow project is to finally make the Moscow River a comfortable space for people. In fact, this is the objective of any project that is currently underway in the city.

Sergo Kukhianidze

Editor in Chief

sergomrk@mail.ru

CAPITAL IDEAS

Founder: Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow

Address: Voznesenskiy Pereulok, 22, Moscow, 125009

Ph: +7 (495) 633-68-66, Fax: +7 (495) 633-68-65

E-mail: dvms@mos.ru

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Acknowledgements to:

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Published with support from the Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow