Precious Moscow

24.10.2011, 14:38
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Skolkovo development, housing economics and the strategy for Moscow 2025 were last Friday’s topics of conversation at Strelka. 

Alexander Puzanov (Head of Department at HSE, Faculty of State and Municipal Administration; Director of the Institute of Urban Economics) told about the federal housing economics, the strategy for Moscow in the residential area and its most important tendencies.

— The distribution of population density depends on its remoteness from the city center according to traditional rules of the market economy. Moscow is an illustration to what happens when these rules are broken. The first decade of the market economy shows that the residential density in Moscow was beginning to even out.

— The distribution of the population density between the central region and the average region shows that apartments of average size of almost 68 sq. meters are found exactly in the central region.

— In Moscow the average density is 45.6 thousand people per sq. km. Approximately 72% of the population live in areas of such density. In contrast, in Europe Vienna was named as the most densely populated city with 10.5 thousand people per sq. km and 40% of the population living in  areas with such density. For most big European cities this is the uttermost top level of density.

— This high density has to do with the fact that 99.5% of the population lives in block apartment buildings. More than half of muscovites live in more than ten-stories tall houses.

— The majority of muscovites have a second home in the Moscow region and use it daily, almost living there. The suburbanization of Moscow agglomeration has very specific features. According to statistics, 300 thousand families have a second house in the countryside that allows them to live on  two houses. This shows a broken suburbanization, as they  can’t afford the desired housing conditions neither in Moscow or the countryside.

— The housing provision constitutes 19 sq.meters per person in Moscow, or 413 apartments per 1000 people. However, the main problem is not the number of housing units but the quality of them.

— To reach the ideal situation where each member of the family has his or her own room, Moscow requires additional 3 million rooms. There should be more apartments with 3 rooms, and the old building standards should be left behind. In order to reach the European standard where each member of the family has a room plus one more room, Moscow will require 7.5 million rooms.

— The ratio between the housing price and income in Moscow is very high. Only 40% of the population can afford mortgage on real estate, and only 14 % of the wealthiest people can buy apartments in Moscow.

In the lecture that followed, the Skolkovo development team talked about the difficulties of creating a good reputation for the  development and the ideas behind the project. Their main goal is to create a comfortable eco-system and urban environment and to transform the scientific recognition into business. The idea is to make the Skolkovo project as open to the public as possible and prove that such a project can be realized and be replicated in other parts of Russia.