Recycling Moscow

16.04.2012, 16:15
posted in

One of the students of the Megacity theme, Ricardo Pinho, is opening up his research project towards the public. In a series of posts to come and a possible webcast with experts and readers, Ricardo intends to spark interest in the subject of abandoned land in Moscow and its re-usage potential, calling out for public debate and discussion.

«Fact. Moscow is going though the deindustrialization process; the city is shifting towards a service economy. Yet, in this shift, Moscow is facing the challenge of managing its own assets. You cannot increase the supply of land (excluding the possibility of creating artificial islands!), unlike labour, which can be boosted by favouring immigration and increasing the birthrate; or capital, which can be promoted by access to credit.

In the past, driven by a planned economy, Moscow went through several expansions to support its population growth. Later on, however, this resulted in a large amount of abandoned land, like parks, factories, airfields, military facilities and housing — these are scattered all around the existing urban tissue and create a scar. These places are in urgent need of recycling. Such areas can be re-developed and, as a result, they can bring a greater benefit for the city in the long-term.

In this very moment, when Moscow’s city authorities are discussing once again the expansion of the city borders, the opportunity to address the potential of this abandoned land seems greater than ever.  When we can propose ways to optimize the usage of this land and its returns to the city budget in favor of the public good, one major questions pops up: what are we waiting for?»

In the posts to follow, Ricardo will further discuss different aspects of abandoned land re-usage.