Voting has taken place on the One Rouble per Square Metre programme to preserve cultural heritage, carried out through the Active Citizen project, with a total of 208,545 people taking part.
The voting focused on two issues. First, voters were to assess the programme in general. This won the support of 73.94 percent of the participants, with 55.64 percent saying the programme was useful to the city and attractive to investors. Others (18.3 percent) believed it was useful but not a top priority, while 18.68 percent were undecided and 7.38 percent said the programme was not necessary.
The second question was on the 13 best renovation projects implemented with the help of investors. The early 20th century cast-iron pavilion at a tram stop located in the Timiryazevsky District of Moscow, at Krasnostudenchesky Proyezd, land plot 17, topped the poll, winning 21.6 percent of the votes.
It was followed by the main building of Sytin’s estate constructed in the early 19th century (5/10 Sytinsky Pereulok, bldg. 5), which gained 13.39 percent of the votes. The building has not been used since the 1990s and has been gradually falling into disrepair.
The third place was taken by the wooden estate of Eduard von Berens (7 Gusyatnikov Pereulok, bldg. 1), which secured 12.67 percent of the votes. The main entrance with a wrought-iron canopy, decorative elements of the facades and the cladding of the wooden walls were renovated. The residential building of the 19th century city estate (9/3 Goncharnaya Street, bldg. 2) got the least number of votes (1.32 percent).
“Thanks to the One Rouble per Square Metre programme, investors can rent cultural heritage sites, which are usually located in the historical centre of Moscow, at a reduced cost. Since the programme was launched, winners of the auctions have rented more than 32 sites on favourable terms; there are hotels, restaurants, shops, medical and educational centres at more than half of them today, ”said Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations Vladimir Yefimov.
The One Rouble per Square Metre programme was launched in Moscow in 2012. Under its terms, investors can rent neglected buildings, renovate them and then pay the symbolic rouble per square metre. Thus the city creates favourable conditions for businesses and attracts private investment for the renovation of cultural heritage sites.
“Renovation under the One Rouble per Square Metre beneficial programme always involves large-scale work, because the relevant cultural heritage sites are dilapidated. Investors know that, in order to receive a preferential rental rate, they must fully restore the historical appearance of the building. Experts work on both facades and interiors. Work in such buildings can only be carried out under the control of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department in compliance with the agreed documents ", noted Alexei Yemelyanov, head of Moscow’s Cultural Heritage Department.
Since the programme was launched, 19 old buildings have been renovated, including the building with caryatids in Pechatnikov Pereulok, the Khludovs’ city estate in Malaya Polyanka Street and an old tram stop in Krasnostudenchesky Proyezd. Today some of the renovated buildings house cafes, gift shops, galleries and offices.
The Active Citizen project awards a prize to the winner of the special category, Best Renovation Site according to Active Citizens in the Moscow Renovation contest. Last year, 173,564 took part in such voting: 8,177, or 4.7 percent, chose the main building of Sytin’s estate (this year’s winner), while 37 percent voted for the Friendship of Nations fountain at VDNKh, 17 percent for the Grotto pavilion at Kuskovo and 14 percent for the Miusskoye tram depot.
The Active Citizen project was launched in 2014 and since then, 4.4 million people have joined it. The participants choose streets and courtyards to beautify, vote for events to make part of festivals and celebrations and propose their own ideas on city development. People have taken part in 4,600 votes since the launch of the project.
Last month Active Citizen launched an online map of implemented projects, highlighting all the changes that have taken place in the city as a result of the votes. The map features more than 1,500 projects.