Moscow, on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia’s symbolic center. It’s home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum’s comprehensive collection, and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.
Once Moscow started to revive its legend and cultural gem, the number of visitors to VDNKh has been rapidly increasing to reach around 25 million people annually. In 2018, it saw the record-breaking 30 million guests! During its 80-year history, the exhibition was called in different ways: VSKhV, VDNKh, and VVTs. Its original purpose was to demonstrate the achievements of the national economy to Muscovites and numerous Moscow guests. However, today it has become a Grand Centre of leisure, education, and culture.
Technograd is the chief front office of Moscow‘s professional training system. The complex was opened in the Knowledge Park at VDNKh on 3 September 2018, with Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin invited.
Technograd offers the world’s and the country’s best training programs in more than 40 most in-demand professions and professions of the future. The programs have been based on actual employers’ requirements. The complex gives an opportunity to train, retrain, and upgrade skills in any of the chosen careers. Its platforms provide excellent conditions for training specialists for small and medium-sized businesses. The training programs have been developed taking into account the specifics of each line of business and include case studies of leading entrepreneurs and experts.
Assembly point of the future
In the country’s sole supermarket of professions, everyone of any age can acquire an in-demand profession or choose his or her future job, taking training based on cutting-edge teaching methods. The innovative education complex of a new type is VDNKh’s attraction point.
Muscovites use the advantages of a smart city every day: they connect to the internet on a train or in the streets, arrange doctor’s visits via the Unified Medical Information Analysis System (UMIAS), pay utility bills online, and attend an online school. Mos.ru presents this article on how Moscow has managed to become one of the world’s smartest cities.
A Smart City is a system of city service resources that are used as efficiently as possible to provide maximum convenience for its residents. It requires a close connection between smart city projects (street CCTV cameras, public services, smart transport systems, and others) in a megalopolis.
City Wi-Fi and mobile internet
There are many points with free Wi-Fi access in Moscow streets, parks, and pedestrian areas, including over 2,000 located inside the Garden Ring and in Moscow parks.
The Internet can also be accessed from public transport. The network covers the metro, the MCC, the Aeroexpress trains to the airports as well as buses, trams, and trolleys. This means there is no need to authorize again after changing from one form of transport to another.
Mobile internet still costs Muscovites eight times less than in New York. Moscow is second in fixed telephone accessibility.
Moscow’s intelligent traffic control system is an important element in a Smart City. In Moscow, this system includes more than 2,000 traffic lights, 3,500 traffic detectors, and 2,000 CCTV cameras. Data from these devices are transferred to the Traffic Management Center’s situation room, where they are analyzed online, which helps control traffic. In the future, this information will make it possible for the Traffic Management Center to forecast traffic patterns due to street closures, the introduction of one-way traffic, or a newly designated bus lane.
Moscow was the first Russian region to launch a website where the public can pay various fees, attain city services, and that moved permits and documents to the cloud allowing users to receive several services in one package.
Muscovites can check on and pay traffic tickets and utility bills, arrange a doctor’s visit, top-up a Troika card, sign up children for a club or do many other things in only minutes. There are 222 services in total on mos.ru now.
Visit a doctor online
The Unified Medical Information Analysis System (UMIAS) was launched in Moscow in 2011. It can be used to find the closest medical center, arrange a doctor’s visit, or get sick leave papers. UMIAS has reduced lines in clinics 2.5 times since it was launched.
UMIAS works at 678 medical centers, unites 21,500 doctors, and 9.5 million patients as well as 359 million arrangements, and provides for over 500,000 transactions every day. About 700,000 people use UMIAS to arrange to see a doctor every week.
City and Active Citizen
Muscovites can directly interact with the Moscow government and influence the city’s life. Our City is a feedback channel where residents can comment on officials and utility services issues.
Muscovites can report on the lack of a rubbish basket in a park, a broken staircase or pavement tile as well as rubbish on the street, poor landscaping care, or a pothole. Over a million users are registered on the website. Almost 1.8 million problems have been resolved with this website so far.
The Active Citizen online referendum system allows citizens to give an opinion on various issues, starting from additional bus routes and lawn mowing to the name of the new metro ring. “Active Citizens” save up bonus points to get brand souvenirs or tickets to theatres or museums. Today over 1.9 million participants are registered in the system, with 2,600 voting sessions held and over 81 million opinions taken into account.
The Moscow Electronic School project started in September 2016. The main elements include digital school records and online registering as well as an electronic library with textbooks and lesson scenarios. The scenarios have replaced lesson plans and look more like a presentation with materials and tasks. Teachers all around the city can find the necessary scenario at the library, add something new to the existing one, or create a new one and share it with others.
This system allows teachers to exchange opinions and creates healthy competition between teachers because scenarios can be rated and the number of downloads is recorded. As of today, teachers have created almost 50,000 lesson electronic scenarios. Interactive blackboards – 84-inch touch screens – can be used to make lessons more interesting. School students can draw on it, move elements from one place to another, paint various areas, and so on with a stylus or their fingers. Today’s children are used to electronic devices, so they like working that way. For example, in history lessons, students use the blackboard to enjoy drawing trade routes or circle areas where certain tribes lived. Some subjects, such as geometry, actually look better with 3D images. Thanks to internet access, teachers can quickly pull up information such as laws, articles, videos, and many other things on the interactive blackboard.
Moscow schools also use online school performance and attendance records as well as the “Attendance and Food” system, in which parents can see children’s marks and their education in general: what topics were covered and what homework is due. The system allows parents to monitor their child’s arrival and departure from school and what they had for lunch.
Moscow is one of the world’s top ten cities in the number of CCTV cameras. There are over 146,000 cameras installed in entrance halls, courtyards, public places, and education institutions. Recordings are used to solve 70 percent of violations and crimes. The cameras also help monitor utility services.
Recordings are kept at the united data storage and process center. In case of emergency, it is possible to book the archived information from the necessary camera for 30 days by calling 8 (495) 587-0002. The application number received from the operator must be given to law enforcement or legal counsel. If not booked, the archived information is kept for five days.
It is fair to call Moscow a smart city, and this title is recognized by the global community. Last July, PricewaterhouseCoopers included Moscow in the top five megalopolises that are ready for innovation. Last June, the Russian capital won the WeGO award. Moscow received special mention in the category of e-government services, and last February, Intelligent Community Forum ranked Moscow among the top seven finalists in the most intelligent city contest.
A special style has been developed for the design of structures used in the new signage system. Materials were selected to minimize vandalism and that do not require painting to maintain their appearance. The exterior design was inspired by Moscow architecture.
How was the system developed?
The development of a single transport navigation signage system began in 2013 and was ready within a year. The pilot project was launched in the metro: information signs with pedestrian maps and exit numbers appeared at five stations.
At the same time, maps for system accessibility appeared at the bike-share stations.
The first bus stop with the new signage was completed in Moscow in 2015. Signage with city maps for pedestrians also began appearing at that time.
The new navigation system began to be used on a wide scale in 2016. Information for the passengers is placed in the metro and at the stops as well as on pedestrian streets.
Over the past 7 years, the number of tourists has increased by 65 percent, from 12.8 million to 21 million people. City revenues from tourism, festivals, and cultural events have soared by 70 percent. A new navigation system has been introduced for the convenience of city residents and tourists: signs and markers are currently available in eight administrative areas as well as at every bus stop
Social care and assistance
Social-sector funding has almost doubled in 2011. In 2018, 430 billion roubles were allocated for social care and assistance projects. Apart from cash payments, the city implements other projects that make life easier. For example, 85 percent of buses, trolleybuses, and trams are adapted for people with disabilities, and to add to this the Exciting Activities for Senior Citizens project has been launched.
Since 2013, the city has planted over 90,000 trees and 1.9 million shrubs under the One Million Trees project. The air is becoming cleaner: Nitrogen oxide and carbon oxide emissions are down 20 and 30 percent, respectively, and those of tiny particles have decreased by an average of ten percent. And tap water no longer reeks of chlorine.
Parks and green zones
550 parks, since 2011, the city has improved 550 parks and green territories, including the creation of 259 new parks. In 2017, 113 green zones were improved. There are plans to still improve 84 parks before the year is out. Trees and shrubs cover 49 percent of the city’s area.
The city no longer implements high-density (infill) construction projects, and the construction of properties with an area of 21.2 million square meters has been canceled. New hospitals, schools and kindergartens, transport interchanges, and metro stations appear each year.
Science and innovations
The city has established 33 technology parks accommodating thousands of small and medium-sized innovative companies. 39 industrial complexes prioritizing innovation development have been registered. 12 technology parks for children are being developed at local universities, offering classes for school children.
The number of weekend markets has increased ten-fold. Since early 2018, there are 102 marketplaces. Over 4,000 illegal trading facilities have been dismantled during the past five years, a standard system for siting kiosks has been drafted, and a 96.6-percent outlet-accessibility coefficient is now posted.
Since 2011, the city has improved 550 parks and green territories, including the creation of 259 new parks. In 2017, 113 green zones were improved. There are plans to still improve 84 parks before the year is out. Trees and shrubs cover 49 percent of the city’s area.
Since 2011, the city has opened over 90 new sports facilities, and the number of city residents preferring a healthy lifestyle has doubled. During the summer of 2018, Moscow hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Luzhniki Stadium was renovated in the run-up to the event, and home stadiums for Spartak and CSKA were also built.
In the past few years, Moscow built 42 new cultural facilities and restored over 1,000 architectural landmarks, including the Arch of Triumph on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, the Pashkov House, the Gnessin School of Music, the Izvestia building, Helikon Opera, and many others as well.
Building and courtyard
By 2015, the city renovated 105,900 residential building entrances and sections and replaced 29,500 lifts in apartment houses. In all, 21,875 courtyards were improved in 2011-2016. Parking space volumes tripled, and 17,353 new playgrounds and 4,487 sports facilities were installed
Moscow pioneered the development of key city-life aspects. Other Russian cities utilize the capital’s experience in implementing city-level projects to create a people-friendly urban environment, to modernize the transport sector, and implement IT projects at local schools
The system is intended for the metro, surface transport, pedestrian spaces, the city’s bike-share network, and transit hubs, and it facilitates orientation along the way on the ground and underground. Each component is designed for a specific place, where it helps plan a route.
City maps for pedestrians have appeared in Moscow for the first time. All of them are designed with due account of the person’s location. It is marked “You are here.” The maps are oriented so that everything on the right is also to the right of the person looking at the map. Those accustomed to cardinal directions for orientation will see an arrow pointing to the north. The maps have circles indicating a five-minute walk from their location.
Metro exits are now numbered clockwise. This helps people find the right direction. Major interchange hubs comprising several stations (Okhotny Ryad — Teatralnaya — Ploshchad Revolyutsii) have consecutive numbering. In addition, exits adapted for passengers with impaired mobility are marked with ramp and lift icons.
City landmarks that help orient visitors are marked with images and icons. This helps people identify them quicker and find the desired direction. Landmarks are indicated in the navigation system and serve as additional reference points.