Moscow is a digital technology global leader

Moscow is a digital technology global leader
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
According to the Moscow Mayor’s official website, Moscow rates as one of the global leaders when it comes to digital technology.

Moscow is ranked first in the world in the use of digital services in the interaction of the state with its citizens. Currently, almost every Moscow family uses the city's portals to get public services online.

Moscow is among the world leaders in the use of digital technology in the urban environment. This is what Vladimir Putin announced at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects. “Our capital Moscow is among the world leaders in the application of digital technology in modern urban infrastructure, ahead of such metropolises as Toronto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Barcelona, and Sydney,” the Russian President stressed.

Moscow is second in the world when it comes to creating infrastructure to implement innovative solutions, the capital of Russia is third in the creation of new business models based on mass adoption of advanced technology. Moscow is ranked first in the world in the use of digital services in the interaction between the state and its citizens.

Sergei Sobyanin, in turn, noted that almost every Moscow family uses the city's portals to get public services online. “Currently, six million Muscovites are registered on our portal to receive government services. It's almost every Moscow family. Every year the portal is used more than 200 million times. This is about 50-60 requests per family,” the Mayor explained.

According to the Moscow Mayor, traditional forms of interaction with the population in the capital are not sufficient. Many problems cannot be solved without information technology. “Moscow has created a portal called Our City, which accumulates people’s complaints in 187 areas, ranging from outpatient clinics, transportation, potholes in the roads, rubbish collection, cleaning of entryways, and so on and so forth. 90 percent of all the problems experienced by citizens can be resolved through this portal,” Sergei Sobyanin noted.

Over recent years the website has had a million users. Our City has helped solve about two million problems, and it takes an average of only four days to solve an issue.

There is also a project called Active Citizen, which involves about two million Muscovites. One thousand five hundred decisions have been implemented through its use. “Active Citizen and crowdsourcing help solve everyday problems — from delayed rubbish collection to illegal summer cafes. Muscovites themselves are involved in the management of their city, suggesting improvements for courtyards, places for planting trees, timing of school holidays, implementation of major projects in the city, for instance, they decide to participate or not to participate in the relocation programme, set standards for the city services,” explained the Mayor.

These systems enable the city authorities to directly address citizens with questions, to carry out personalised online voting, to take management decisions that suit the majority of Muscovites, and to avoid mistakes.

Electronic services for citizens and businesses

Online public services let citizens save two - three working days. For example, child benefits can be obtained, without personally going to My Documents centres. “In 2016, there were 119,000 electronic applications. In total, more than three billion roubles was paid in connection with the birth of a baby, additional benefits for young families and so on,” the Mayor added.

A similar system of online services was also created for businesses. Entrepreneurs in Moscow can take advantage of 74 online services.

Introduction of digital technology in the urban environment lets Moscow save annually about five billion roubles. Saving is possible, in particular, thanks to the introduction of online systems in education. Sergei Sobyanin added: “Currently, there’s a new enrolment system for kindergartens, schools, hobby groups, so that there are no write-up or corruption schemes that used to exist. Long waiting lists at schools and kindergartens were a huge problem. Today, there is nothing of the kind. By the way, we managed to get rid of long waiting lists for pre-school and school institutions. There is an electronic diary, which is used by virtually all school children.”

Computerisation of education, healthcare, and housing and utilities services

Computerisation of the municipal education system will continue: new information technology is to be introduced, equipment will be renovated. According to the Moscow Mayor, the main thing is to create a unified educational environment where every teacher has an electronic plan of a lesson with teaching material. “This is a crucial area of focus. Here we are lagging far behind our colleagues. I mean from the best foreign practices. We are monitoring the situation, but I hope that within a year or so, let’s say at the most three years, we will eliminate these gaps and our schools will offer more interesting and a more efficient kind of education,” Mr Sobyanin explained.

Online systems have reduced the waiting time to see a doctor, too. Currently, only 10 per cent of patients wait at a doctor’s office for more than 20 minutes. In addition to this, within two years, the city plans to complete work on the introduction of electronic medical records in the city’s healthcare centres. At the moment, there are only three million e-cards in Moscow.

Another priority for Moscow is the development of a utilities management system, GLONASS, monitoring technology, and data collection.

Intelligent transportation system

Following the introduction of an intelligent transportation system, the number of road accidents in Moscow has fallen by almost half, the average speed of traffic increased by 13 percent, while the number of cars increased significantly.

The system created over the past three or four years, has incorporated the best global practices. “This includes controlling the flow of traffic, a system for monitoring traffic, traffic violation cameras, as well as public transportation surveillance ,” Sergey Sobyanin said.

On top of this, in the coming years, the capital will introduce a security system in the Moscow Metro.