New public garden and a U-turn: City residents’ ideas continue to help improve Moscow

New public garden and a U-turn: City residents’ ideas continue to help improve Moscow
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
People via the Active Citizen website have been sharing numerous suggestions on how to improve the local way of life and make it more comfortable. These suggestions should be posted on the website’s section Mayor, I Have an Idea. Thousands of messages have been posted there since the onset of the summer, and some of them are already being implemented.

Over a period of the last few months users of the Active Citizen website submitted 4,500 ideas on how to develop and improve the city and posted them on the website’s Mayor, I Have an Idea section, added in May 2018. Before that, users could only access the website’s section Mayor, I Have a Problem where they could report various matters that should be resolved, including dirty residential-building entrances, rundown playgrounds together with things like transport problems. The section Mayor, I Have an Idea accumulates suggestions on how to improve courtyards, vacant plots of land, pedestrian zones and parks and also on how to manage city traffic and develop the social sector. Moscow residents have recently been focusing on courtyard improvements and ways to cope with the traffic, submitting over 1,000 ideas on each matter over the last three months. City authorities are already implementing some of them.

Residents offer advice

Responding to a request made by Timiryazevsky district residents, the City Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development has added a new bus stop on a route between Likhobory metro station on Dmitrovskoye Motorway. How the traffic lights function has also been changed in line with some other requests. U-turns are now permitted on Rublyovskoye Motorway underpass, several metres from an intersection with Marshala Timoshenko Street.

People from the West Biryulyovo district in southern Moscow have persuaded their local authorities to improve a vacant plot of land between Kharkovsky Proyezd and Podolskikh Kursantov Street. All the rubbish has been removed, and the spot has been turned into a pleasant place to go and relax as it’s now covered with trees and shrubs.

Choosing ideas

First and foremost, all requests posted on the section Mayor, I Have an Idea are checked for authenticity, all nuances are assessed, and efforts are made to find out whether all names and addresses have been entered correctly. After this has been done such requests are published for open voting. Users can support or reject any proposal they like. Voting results help gauge the popularity of various ideas. However, every published idea is submitted to the concerned state-power agencies responsible for implementing it. Its officials make the final decision, regardless of the number of users’ votes. And the open-vote procedure makes it possible to assess the popularity of any specific idea, submitted by city residents.

How to suggest a new idea

People can only register in the new section using their user names on the official Moscow Government website, with their pension insurance account number appended to these user names. However, user names’ personal data is not submitted. For their convenience, users can merge their accounts in the Mayor, I Have an Idea section with their user names on the My City website.

The unique Our City project has been developed to improve the quality of city residents’ life as well as the cityscape. By registering on the website, users can monitor the state of the city infrastructure, roads, transit links and hubs, lighting, the improvement of land and lots more.

The subject matter varies, depending on the season. Each spring and summer, people complain about road markings that have faded away, poor maintenance of trees and shrubs and incorrect installation of summer cafés. During the winter months people mainly complain about black ice, snowdrifts and icicles in courtyards, as well as inadequately built skating rinks.