One year older: What happened in Moscow during last 12 months

One year older: What happened in Moscow during last 12 months
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
The MCC launch, the Confederations Cup, start of the relocation programme: time to look back at the biggest events that took place in Moscow during the last year.

Twelve months – 12 events. Let’s see what important things have been done this year and how Moscow met its anniversary. Let’s begin.

September

Last year, on 10 September, the Moscow Central Circle (MCC) was launched in Moscow. The surface railway line crosses all the radial metro lines and passes through 14 city distritcts.

The new circle line has 31 stations in total; 14 of them have interchanges with the metro, and soon the number will increase to 17. Also six interchanges to regional trains will open soon (10 are planned). The modern, fast Lastochka trains run along the Moscow Central Circle. They have climate control, bio-toilets, free Wi-Fi, bicycle racks and device chargers. During peak hours Lastochka trains run every 5 minutes, and every 10 minutes the rest of the time. This year the MCC has had 97 million passengers. And this week on 7 September it set a new record: 385,257 passengers in 24 hours. 

Seven new pedestrian crossings over the MCC will be built by 2018; new entrance halls (concourses) will appear at ZIL and Lokomotiv stations. The MCC continues to see development and will be further integrated into the metro and the railway systems. For example, Shelepikha, Khoroshyovskaya, Nizhegorodskaya Ulitsa and Okruzhanya metro stations will also have interchanges to the MCC.

October

The Golden Autumn Festival took place in Moscow last October, concluding Moscow Seasons 2016. It had more than 5 million visitors and became a successful gastronomical event. The festival included Meat Week, Cheese Days, Fish Week and regional fairs.

Both residents and tourists loved Moscow Seasons, so they will be held each year. By the way, Moscow City Day became a high point of one of the Moscow Seasons festivals called Moscow 870: City Where History is Made.

November

Last November the main ice rink at VDNKh opened with a show. It opened for the season on 25 November with the spectacular theatrical show, Moments of Light, and the first skating night concluded with colourful fireworks.

The VDNKh ice rink can hold 5,000 skaters; the total area is more than 20,000 square metres. The skaters are surrounded by beautiful pavilions and fountains, which is the best setting for skating!

During its two years of existence the VDNkh ice track managed to get into the Russian Book of Records due to the big skating area and good infrastructure. Big events, concerts, hockey matches, charity events and flash mobs take place there.

December

As always in December, Muscovites are totally into New Year’s preparations. The city itself joined them. On 16 December the celebrations began officially with the Journey to Christmas and Christmas Light festivals.

Dozens of events took place: workshops, concerts, theatrical shows and fairs, but, the city’s appearance was, probably, the main source of the holiday spirit. The designers of the outdoor decoration concept said that they would not simply adorn it, but that they would surprise everybody. And they did it. Lamps, garlands, light projectors, and light installations filled the city with light. For a whole month, the city turned into a fairytale city with snow-covered little houses, fir trees, glowing archways and thousands of lights.

The festival featured 3,000 street shows, 8,000 workshops, and 100 free themed tours. Over 12 million people “Journeyed to Christmas” in total. Soon Muscovites and tourists will be surprised again, because December is coming. What story will be created this time is still a secret.

January

At the end of January Sergei Sobyanin supported the project to establish a biomedicine industrial park at Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. It will include four large buildings: centres for fundamental research, translational medicine, biomedical engineering, and also a clinic.

The project should be completed in 2020. The industrial park will feature the whole research and development cycle, experimental and small volume biomedical production: traditional and gene therapy drugs, and cellular and tissue-engineered design. This project will become a breakthrough for the university and turn it into a world-class research centre.

February

The next stage of the My Street programme started in Moscow with the relocation of utility and communications lines at 34 sites. In the framework of this project, workers improved the Zaryadye area, sections of the Boulevard and Garden Rings, as well as Tverskaya Street and a number of other central streets. The 2017 programme included 118 streets, embankments, squares and  city “welcome” areas.

Now this stage of the programme is near completion. Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square on the Garden Ring, Savvinskaya, Prechistenskaya and Yakimanskaya embankments, Tverskaya Zastava Square and dozens of other locations have been improved.

March

On 16 March a new section of Kalininsko-Solntsevkaya metro line (Line 8, Yellow Line) was launched. The Minskaya, Lomonosovsky Prospekt and Ramenki stations were opened. A second entrance hall opened at Park Pobedy station.

The Solntsevsky, or western section of the Yellow Line is being built in several stages. The section between Delovoi Tsentr and Park Pobedy was launched at the beginning of 2014. The second to open was the section between Park Pobedy and Ramenki, and the third, between Ramenki and Rasskazovka, is under construction now: there will be seven stations on this section.

The Moscow Metro is being built with unprecedented speed. Since 2011, the route length has increased by 30 percent: 101 km and 55 new stations, including the MCC. The next major line to be built is the Third Interchange Circuit. Its first section (10.5 km) with five stations will open this year. In five years, between 2011 and 2020, the city will build almost the same amount of route-kilometres as the previous 45 years: about 200 km and over 100 stations.

April

A unique surgery ward opened at the Sklifosovsky Institute. It has the capacity for 5,000 surgeries per year there, with a significant number of them being technologically advanced and minimally invasive surgeries.

The operating rooms are equipped with the latest equipment for high-technology operations; the surgical and anesthetic equipment was produced by leading companies.

Moscow healthcare has made major strides in recent years. New hospitals are being built in the city; the old ones are being repaired; and new equipment is being bought. The simulation centre in the Botkin Hospital now features advanced simulators (including robot or dummy patients) for education. This May, a tender was held to supply over 20 hospitals with artificial blood vessels. Grants were issued for intensive care units. Also hospitals using advanced technologies can receive 100 million rubles in support. A new Morozov Children’s Hospital building will open soon.

May

On 18 May Sergei Sobyanin signed the law on additional guarantees for residents under the relocation programme. The programme’s goal is to move the residents from dilapidated five-storey buildings into new modern buildings.  

The main guarantees are: new flats will be provided in the same district; the new flats will be equal in size to the old ones; everyone who wishes to leave the programme will be able to do so. Later the guarantees were stipulated not only in the city law but also in federal legislation.

The list with the initial relocation programme areas will be published this October.

June

Every football fan in Russia waited for June: for the first FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Moscow hosted four games, with three group stage matches and the third place final taking at Spartak Stadium.

In addition to the sport infrastructure, the transportation and security systems were at their best during the cup events. The average attendance was high: over 38,000 people per game. The success proved that Moscow is ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

July

The main event of the month was the largest Moscow Urban Forum ever held. It attracted more than 11,000 participants to the business programme from 68 countries, with 400 speakers.

The Urban Forum took place at VDNKh between 6 and 12 July. The agenda included panel discussions, roundtable discussions, presentations, public interviews and conferences. Lectures, workshops and MUF Fest films were prepared for the audience. The MUF Expo was also held there.

On the eve of the 7th Urban Forum PricewaterhouseCoopers presented the results of the global survey “The Future is Coming: Cities Readiness Rating.” Moscow was among the top five cities that are ready for the newest innovative technology.

August

Five new schools with 5,950 places opened in Moscow for the new academic year, including the largest school in Russia (2,100 places) in Nekrasovka. There are art rooms, gyms, and a library with a conference room. The school in Nekrasovka also features playgrounds where children can play mini-football, basketball, volleyball, badminton and table tennis. There also are jogging tracks and fitness machines at the largest school.

In total, 42 new schools and kindergartens with a total capacity of 17,498 are to be built in Moscow this year. These are next-generation buildings with modern architecture and bright facades, that comply with the highest education standards. Chemistry, physics, and biology classes have been turned into real laboratory complexes, and the school libraries will be advanced information centres.