Moskva River as an urban development mega project
If there is a trend to renovate and rebuild industrial zones within cities, why not improve embankments as well? London, Paris, Copenhagen, Toronto, Valencia, Seoul and other capitals and major cities all began similar initiatives in the late 20th century.
The mega project to develop the Moskva River will feature 24 new bridges (12 pedestrian and 12 transport bridges), the improvement of more than 135 kilometres of embankments (64 kilometres will be developed from the ground up, and 73 kilometres will benefit from upgrades and improvements), and the creation of 40 public areas and 16 major individual projects.
All this is expected to better link neighbouring districts and help people move around the city with more ease. The project also includes upgrades and construction of wastewater treatment facilities to improve water quality. All in all, the effort to improve the embankments and adjacent grounds will transform the Moskva River into a centre of attraction, an area offering business, sports and entertainment opportunities.
Although almost all embankments will have an individual development project, there is a general concept of how the space surrounding the river is to be organised. According to this concept, the Moskva River is to be split into 13 sections with a total area of 10.4 hectares. This area will be redeveloped and improved in three stages:
By 2020, the programme is expected to be completed in five sections:
— the Moscow-City International Business Centre and Dorogomilovo districts;
— the city centre and Gorky Park;
— Vorobyovy Gory and Luzhniki sports complex-adjacent territory;
— Kolomenskoye and Kuryanovo;
— Maryino, Brateyevo and Kopotnya.
Specifically, 17 embankments will be renovated as part of the My Street programme. Frunzenskaya and Novodevichya embankments have already been improved last year, and the Kremlyovskay embankment has been included in this year’s renovation programme. In 2016-2017, the focus will shift to Krasnopresnenskaya, Luzhnetskaya, Pushkinskaya (Gorky Park), 850-letiya Moskvy, Savinskaya, Rostovskaya, Smolenskaya, Prechistenskaya, Kotelnicheskaya, Goncharnaya, Bolotnaya (from Bolotnaya Street to Serafimovicha Street), Kadashevskaya and the Yakimanskaya embankments.
By 2025, three more sections will benefit from improvements:
— ZIL and Nagatinskaya Poyma industrial zones;
— Krylatskaya and Mnevnikovskaya Poyma and Fili;
— former Tushino aerodrome and Kirovskaya Poyma.
Another five sections will be redeveloped by 2035:
— Stroginskaya Poyma and Serebryany Bor;
— Karamyshevskaya Embankment;
— Derbenyovskaya and Paveletskaya embankments;
— Yuhny Port (South Port) industrial zone and Nagatinsky Zaton.
The major projects to renovate and improve adjacent grounds include:
— the new Zaryadye Park;
— the Big City district;
— the ZIL industrial zone;
— the Ostrov Mechty (Dream Island) amusement park in Nagatinskaya Poyma;
— the Luzhniki sports complex;
— the Tushino aerodrome land;
— the Mnevnikovskaya Poyma territory.
The territory between Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment and Shenogina Street has been virtually abandoned. The new project is expected to revive this depressed area by developing new transport links, public spaces and other infrastructure.
In this area, 2.8 kilometres along the river will be rebuilt, including exit ramps from the Third Ring Road, bus stops and new roads.
Improving how the river looks in this area was also high on the architects’ agenda. Access to the water and vast recreation areas, including city parks and pedestrian embankments with 14 kilometres of bike paths will be created.
Two metro stations, Delovoy Tsentr and Kutuzovsky Prospekt, will serve these embankments along with two passenger berths on the river. Importantly, eight wastewater treatment facilities will be built as part of efforts to improve the embankment to purify water going into the river.
Brateyevskaya Embankment – Brateyevsky Park
The improvement of Brateyevsky Cascade Park was completed in July 2016. It occupies a 39 hectare land plot once used as a sand pit that was handed over to the city back in 2006. Until recently, greenery and infrastructure were scarce. Last year, Brateyevsky Park was merged into Kuzminki Park, becoming one of 80 priority recreation zones (many of them are located along the Moskva River) that are to be renovated by the end of the year.
In just two months, new lawns and flower beds were created in the park along with pedestrian and bicycle paths, playgrounds and sports areas, lighting, and infrastructure for summer cafes. Sidewalks and roads were renovated along Borisovskiye Ponds and Khordovy Proyezd, and parking was created.
In addition, 1.5 kilometres along Brateyevskaya Embankment benefited from improvements, along with ramps and stairs leading to the river. Marshy land was drained, and two sunken derelict vessels were removed from the river.
Frunzenskaya and Novodevichya embankments
The effort to renovate these embankments and adjacent grounds was completed last year, covering Novodevichy Proyezd and Luzhnetsky Proyezd streets, Novodevichya Embankment, as well as part of Frunzenskaya Embankment and Khamovnichesky Val Street up to Andreevsky Bridge. According to the project, boardwalks were widened and new street lamps and benches were installed. In addition, 15 new parking areas were created along with parking space for 25 tourist coaches.
New footpaths and 26 bicycle racks were created. In addition, 19 building facades received a facelift, eight of which received decorative lighting. Wires and cables were moved underground.
Kremlyovskaya Embankment – Borovitskaya Square
The project to renovate Kremlyovskaya Embankment and Borovitskaya Square got underway on 15 June. The embankment will get tile pavement, and pedestrian crossings will be equipped with convenient ramps. The Kremlin towers will receive plaques with information on their history in several languages. More than 20 retro street lamps recreated from designs taken from the Lights of Moscow museum will be installed along the Kremlin wall.
Moskvoretskaya Embankment – Zaryadye Park
Moskvoretskaya Embankment improvement will take place alongside the Zaryadye construction site, the first major park that will be created in Moscow in 50 years. Covering some 10 hectares, the park will have four landscaped areas, from the taiga to river meadows. Every area will have its own microclimate throughout the year. The park will also have an ice cave celebrating nature in Yakutia, the life of the northern people and Arctic expeditions.
Zaryadye Park will also have a multifunctional media centre and a philharmonic hall integrated into the landscape. It will be restricted area, just as most of the park’s infrastructure will be underground, while public spaces will be covered by a transparent dome.
Moskvoretskaya Embankment will have direct access to the river with cafes and recreational areas near the water. A berth for river boats will be transferred 300 metres down the river so as not to disturb pedestrians. An underground crossing will be connected to the lower part of the embankment that will also serve as an archaeology museum. Pedestrians will see fragments of Kitaygorodskaya Wall, and many old objects discovered during the excavation work that preceded the park’s construction.
The V-shaped observation platform, built as a transparent bridge suspended 13 metres above the river, will certainly become the main attraction at the embankment. It will offer a unique panoramic view of the Kremlin’s neighbourhood, and glass elevators will enable people to enjoy the scenery.
Embankment renovations will be supplemented with upgrades to the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge and the berth where the Yauza River meets the Moskva River near the Bolshoy Ust’insky Bridge. Zaryadye Park and the Moskvoretskaya Embankment are expected to open by 2017 when Moscow will mark its 870th anniversary.