Moscow Urban Forum 2016 lasted four days, over June and July. Archello took part for the second time in the Forum, participating in seminars, panels, master classes and plenar sessions about this year’s main topic – Fast Growing Megacities. Technologies of Dynamic Development.
The main topic of this year – problems of megacities and the newest technologies used in cities development – brought a lot of international attention to the Forum. This year’s sixth edition of the Moscow Urban Forum was the biggest in the history: it attracted more than 6000 participants from 43 countries around the world, including prime ministers and mayors from European and Asian countries. From June 30th to July 3rd, the Forum’s main venue – Manezh, located in the historical heart of Moscow – was the centre of Russian economical and urbanistic development.
In 2007, Moscow officially became one of 28 world megacities, defined as cities with more than ten million inhabitants. With its territorial expansion in 2012 and incorporating a southwestern region into the Moscow area, the Russian capital increased its area by two and half times: from about 1,000 square kilometers up to 2,500 square kilometers, and gained additional population of 230,000 people. Nowadays, with almost 17 million inhabitants, Moscow is the second (after Istanbul) most populous city in Europe, and the 6th largest city in the world. Like other megacities, Moscow has its own problems with air pollution, housing stadard, slums and traffic, crime and gentrification.
As the Moscow Urban Forum serves as a platform for exchange of experience and as a space to find new ideas for cities, the main goal is to find working solution for the pressing problems faced by megacities. To achieve this ambitious goal, the program was divided into two parts: theoretical and practical. The first day was dedicated to mayors, who during the panel discussed the main issues of implementing technology into developing cities. During the opening speech, mayor Sergey Sobyanin addressed problems of Moscow as megacity and discussed the biggest governmental project being carried out now in Moscow to increase standard of life in the city: ‘I will start with the main project – the development of city transportation – which is the biggest pain of the city and mega project itself. Over the last couple of years, we bulit more than 400 kilometers of roads in Moscow. We are also finishing “Moscow’s ring” – fast train inside the city with connections to the metro and easy transfer to other means of transport, such as trams, electric buses and buses,’ said S. Sobyanin.
The second day of Moscow Urban Forum looked at the practical side of city development – members of panels and master classes presented examples of projects realized in megacities. Projects presented during the Forum showed the big picture of city life and addressed its different angles – from the freshest infrastructural solutions (such as a renaissance of buses in Istanbul), through local environmental projects (like pollution free parks), to animating tourism and cultural activities (i. e. by renovation of old Soviet cinemas located in historical parts of Moscow). The Moscow goverment is currently running a couple of megaprojects, to give just a few examples there is Zaryadye Park, located 10 minutes from the Kremlin and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will be the centre of relaxation for Muscovites. There is also the re-construction of historical Luzhniki Stadium for incoming FIFA’s World Cup 2018, which is almost ready, and a huge empty space at riverside Krymskaya Embankment was recently transformed into a landscape park that connects Gorky Park with Krymsky bridge. Finally, in frames of My Street Project pavements, parking areas and streets will be reconstructed, mainly streets on a large scale around the entire city.
We hope to visit the next edition of the Moscow Urban Forum!