Metro, roads and housing: Marat Khusnullin speaks about Moscow’s major projects

Metro, roads and housing: Marat Khusnullin speaks about Moscow’s major projects
Twenty million square metres of housing, over 100 kilometres of metro lines as well as new stadiums: The head of the Moscow Urban Development and Construction Complex told the Moscow Urban Forum about the key changes in the city agglomeration.

The development of the Moscow transit system between 2011 and2016 is unprecedented for most of the world’s megacities, pointed out Deputy Moscow Mayor for Urban Development and Construction Marat Khusnullin at the 7th Moscow Urban Forum.

“Lately, people have associated the word “renovation” with the housing relocation programme. However, there is much more to it”, Mr Khusnullin said.

Moscow is implementing programmes aimed at transforming the urban environment. Over the past six years, Moscow has built 50 million square metres of real estate, including 20 million square metres of housing. The social infrastructure is also being renovated, undeveloped industrial areas are being modernised, and parks, public areas and sports facilities are being created.

“The main areas of development are the transit infrastructure, roads, metro, interchanges, railways, pedestrian zones, bike lanes and link roads. We are doing this to enable people to move around freely and to be free in terms of transit, recreation and culture,” Mr Khusnullin said.

Moscow roads

The recent development of Moscow’s transit system is unprecedented for many of the world’s megacities. For instance, the length of the metro lines has been increased by 30 percent (101 kilometres and 55 stations). In September 2016, the 54-kilometre long Moscow Central Circle was launched. The Third Interchange Circuit is also being built; it is over 60 kilometres long and has 31 stations.

By 2021,142 more kilometres of new metro lines will be built.

“Given the extension of the metro to Vnukovo, Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye and Chelobityevo we want to double the length of rail tracks over a period of the next 10 years,” Mr Khusnullin said.

Many of the projects are implemented together with Russian Railways: 160 kilometres of railtracks have been laid. There will be eighty more kilometres of tracks and five stations on the main three radial lines. This will allow residents of the Moscow agglomeration to enjoy fast, comfortable and inexpensive rides.

The road and transportation infrastructure is also being developed: over 500 kilometres of roads and over 160 road facilities have been built in the city over the past few years.

“We have approved a 5-year programme to build 500 more kilometres of roads and 140 road infrastructure facilities. We have the money, builders and also the will to do this,” the Deputy Mayor said.

Under construction are the North-East and North-West Expressways, as well as the South Expressway, which will form a circle of an irregular shape with a length of 232 kilometres. It will have about 50 facilities, such as flyovers and interchanges.

“We have repaired over 12 percent of the street and road network and almost 26 percent of road facilities such as bridges, roads and tunnels,” Mr Khusnullin said.

Another major project is the construction of transit hubs with over 14 million square meters of real estate around them.

“We are doing this to improve pedestrian accessibility and bring real estate closer to transit infrastructure. This is very ambitious work. We are working on 155 transit hubs; 55 of them we are designing and building on our own; investors are working on 13 transit hubs with a total area of over one million square metres,” Mr Khusnullin said.

New life for industrial areas

The development of the transit infrastructure has led to a new perspective on the development of industrial zones. There are 208 industrial zones in the city with a total area of 18,800 hectares; 4,700 hectares will be completely redeveloped and 7,800 hectares will be redeveloped in part.

“Earlier this year, we have approved new land use and development regulations and decided that the development density in industrial areas where investors want to create jobs should be at least 15,000 square metres per hectare. This will double the industrial zones’ construction potential. After all, this means more  jobs and taxes for the budget. We should develop them. Today any investor can send an online application to get the right to develop a zone if they want to create new jobs there,” the Deputy Mayor said.

According to Mr Khusnullin, the redevelopment of several world-scale zones is underway. This includes the area of the former ZIL plant, which will accommodate 76,000 residents and 65,000 workplaces.

“The development of the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas has a huge potential for the city’s polycentric development. Five years ago, these areas were incorporated in Moscow. There were many disputes and much speculation about why we needed this. Today, five years later, we can say that we have received 87 billion roubles in investment; it is almost $20 billion since 2012. These investments were used to build hundreds of kilometres of roads with another 250 kilometres under construction, as well as metro stations and the reconstruction of the Kievsky Railway. We are confident that the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas will become our new polycentric development centre,” Mr Khusnullin said.

At the same time, Moscow is developing social infrastructure facilities as well.

“We have eliminated waiting lists for kindergartens by building 203 new preschools, as well as 67 schools and 58 healthcare facilities,” the Deputy Mayor said. “It is important to point out that 25 percent of all social facilities were built by investors. In the near future, we will commission over 250 more social infrastructure facilities with 30 percent of them built by investors.”

Sports, parks and embankments

The sports infrastructure is also being developed. In the past three years, three stadiums have been built that meet all international standards. In June, the renovation of the Big Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Sports Complex was completed. The stadium will host the final matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“Eleven more football pitches with children’s and youth sports schools are being built. After the World Cup, the infrastructure  will be used by children. Parks and embankments are being renovated as well: 80 new parks have been made in Moscow for the past six years, and 80 more will be created between  2017 and 2019,” Mr Khusnullin said.

In 2017, Zaryadye Park will open near the Kremlin. Its area is 11 hectares and it will welcome about 12 million tourists every year. The Dream Island Park with an area of 92 hectares is being built in Nagatinskaya Plain. The construction costs run into $1 billion in off-budget investment.