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“According to the team at Gehl, Moscow is currently undergoing a sweeping transformation in order to become more liveable and sustainable,” writes Stine Behrendtzen.
While the city has many assets, such as a compact center and generous parklands, Moscow is a long way from achieving the walkable, socially-thriving streets and squares found in many of its Western-European counterparts. The report ‘Moscow – Towards a great city for people,’ which was recently presented to Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin, makes a number of key recommendations for the city’s makeover, including the transformation of canal- and river-sides from parkways to parkland.
“According to Gehl Architects’ Project Manager, Solvejg Reigstad, the rivers and canals in Moscow hold great recreational potential,” notes Behrendtzen. “Unfortunately most of the waterfront near the city center is currently surrounded by heavy traffic. 93 percent of the space is allocated to cars, creating a barrier between the city and the river. The roaring traffic makes it a noisy place that discourages people from lingering and promenading.”
“By gradually improving the most vital parts of the city center – such as the waterfront, selected main-streets and parks – and using the same recipe on similarly challenged areas, a gradual improvement can occur – and spread.”