This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.

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From a historical perspective, there are some profound lessons that are worth noting in the process of urban development and governance in Moscow. If you would like to visit Moscow, make sure complete Russian visa application online.

(1) Driven by rapid industrialization, due to scattered management and lax planning, the urban population expanded rapidly

In the former Soviet Union, driven by the demand for rapid industrialization, Moscow’s population expanded rapidly, and the investment in urban construction and public utilities was seriously insufficient, which brought huge pressure on urban governance. For this reason, Moscow has always emphasized the decentralization of industry and population, and has adopted various measures including various compulsory administrative measures. However, the trend of population and factors concentrated in the capital has always existed, and population control goals have been repeatedly broken. In 1931, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Brazzaville) proposed to control the population size of 5 million, but in 1959 the population reached 5.046 million. In 1971, it proposed that the urban population should not exceed 8 million for long-term control, and in 1984 it reached 8.58 million. The rapid population expansion is not only a factor of the huge labor demand generated by high-speed industrialization, but also related to the decentralized government management system. Under the mandatory planning system, although the industrial layout and labor deployment are under centralized control, the government system has a decentralized management. In particular, the central authorities and industry authorities in Moscow have long been accustomed to decide on their own In order to facilitate management, many departments have moved directly affiliated organizations, scientific research institutions, enterprise factories, etc. to the city for the layout of enterprises or institutions and the number of personnel in Moscow. Institutions and universities have rigid requirements, but the authority of municipalities and urban planning departments is limited, and it is difficult to form rigid constraints on industrial layout and population migration. This is an important reason for the serious population expansion.

(2) Unreasonable population and industrial layout have caused widespread separation of work and residence, which has brought huge pressure to urban life

From the perspective of population distribution, generally speaking, as the distance from the city center gets closer and farther, the population density generally decreases, but the population density in Moscow is relatively even, which is very different from other large cities in the world. The main reason is that in the former Soviet Union, Moscow implemented a planned centralized development of land, and the market allocation mechanism for land resources was basically lacking. The land use intensity of urban centers with a large demand for land was relatively low. In the 1930s, small towns and satellite towns were built on the periphery of the city, and the construction of suburban housing was strengthened. Today, most citizens live in the suburbs and even live in the Moscow region. From the perspective of industrial layout, although Moscow has always restricted industrial development in the urban area, in 1971 it tried to develop 8 independent districts. In the mid-1990s, it also implemented a plan to replace the secondary industry with the tertiary industry. The tertiary industry has been developed or turned into green space, but most of the industries are still concentrated in the city center. The population living in the suburbs and the employment opportunities are concentrated in the city center, resulting in a general separation of work and housing, leading to pendulum migration of the employed population and centripetal traffic flow, which lengthens citizens’ travel distances and expands road traffic flow. Urban traffic, ecology and social life have caused tremendous pressure.

 (3) The radial ring-shaped space structure has been continuously strengthened, which cannot adapt to the increasingly complex urban life layout, which has also caused serious traffic congestion.

In the long-term development, Moscow has gradually formed a radial ring-shaped space structure, which is of typical significance in the world’s major cities. Moscow has historically been a radial ring city centered on the inner area of ​​the small ring road. In the former Soviet Union, in order to continue to maintain the Kremlin and Red Square as the core area, the urban boundary was further expanded in a ring to the surrounding area, and large-scale residential areas were continuously filled. The city center is the Kremlin Castle and the Red Wall. From the inside to the outside are the street ring, the garden road ring, the Greater Moscow ring railway and the Moscow ring road. 7 radial roads extend from the city center through the ring line to make the city appear Out of the fan-shaped and ring-shaped space structure form. The basic consideration for adopting this kind of spatial structure is to make the city develop in a balanced manner in all directions, so that the density of roads entering the city center is roughly equal, which has certain advantages in traffic. However, this spatial form is only a pre-designed ideal state, it is difficult to completely match the complex urban life, causing a lot of inconsistency. After continuous development, the radial ring-shaped space structure is gradually strengthened, and a matching road network structure has been formed. This road network structure is adapted to the initial stage of urban development, and it does have many advantages. However, as the scale of the city expands, private cars gradually Popularization, the rapid expansion of traffic on radial traffic lines entering and leaving the city gradually exposed the problems of low road grades and low road network density, coupled with poor static traffic management, resulting in serious urban congestion. Moscow was once considered the most congested in the world city ​​of.

(4) Compressed urbanization ignores the improvement of people’s livelihood, the lack of market and social self-regulation mechanisms, the low quality of urban life and lack of vitality

Urbanization is not only a change in the structure of industries and population, but also a change in people’s ideas and lifestyles. For Moscow, large-scale urbanization was completed in a very short time under the impetus of rapid industrialization. Although many agricultural populations have been transformed into citizens, they still have difficulty adapting to the urban lifestyle and values ​​for a long time. The guidelines still adhere more to rural cultural traditions and lifestyles, and urban construction also retains strong characteristics of villages and towns. This kind of urbanization has the characteristics of transition and incompleteness, and some call it “pseudo-urbanization” or “pseudo-urbanization”. Quasi-urbanization”. The reason for this situation is that the government pays attention to political and ideological goals in urban development, and always prioritizes the development of industry and military, and then considers the needs of people’s livelihoods such as housing and consumption. The second is the prohibition of commodity-currency relations and the strict control of population movements by the household registration system, which inhibits market and social self-regulation mechanisms. It is difficult for new urban immigrants to truly participate in urban life and often become urban “marginal people”, making it difficult to form modern citizen concepts and concepts. The way of behavior, urban development also lacks diversification and vitality. In the new era, Moscow aims at the goal of a world-class metropolis, emphasizes “convenience to citizens’ lives” in the development concept, reflects the people-oriented orientation, emphasizes the role of the market, and pays more attention to connotative development, but it originated in the urban social operating mechanism of the former Soviet Union. The impact is still there, and profound changes are needed to achieve the goals of a modern city.

(5) The level of urban planning specialization is low, the overall and forward-looking design is lacking, and the development of the city and surrounding areas is not coordinated

In the former Soviet Union, Moscow has always paid little attention to the specific work of urban planning. Some extremely important urban planning and design were only entrusted to the lowest-ranking staff. Professional talents such as architects, civil scientists, and economists were less involved. , Resulting in a low degree of specialization in urban planning and extensive design. For example, a place that should have been built as a leisure place for citizens has resulted in the construction of a factory; the land that should have been intensively used is occupied by low-density houses. This is an important reason for the extensive and disorderly development of Moscow’s urban development. Urban planning also lacks overall and forward-looking design. Many problems in modern urban governance have far exceeded the spatial scope of a single city, and overall arrangements must be made at the regional level of urban agglomerations. However, Moscow City has always been independent and closed development at its own pace. It lacks coordination with the surrounding areas, especially the development of Moscow Region, and rarely implements unified and coordinated regional development plans. Instead, Moscow Region has long been subordinate to Moscow City. In particular, with the rapid expansion of the city of Moscow, the land dispute between the two regions has not ceased. This not only restricts Moscow’s own development, but also makes it difficult to realize the Russian national strategy that requires Moscow to play a leading role in regional development.

The development of a country’s capital is also the epitome of the country’s development. After entering the new century, as the social and political situation tends to stabilize, Russia, which has a strong industrial foundation and abundant energy resources, has shown a good momentum of rapid development under the stimulus of a new wave of global economic growth. However, although Russia has achieved political system transformation, deep-seated and systemic problems in social and economic development still exist, such as a single economic structure, backward infrastructure, poor business environment, serious bureaucracy, and serious corruption. Therefore, for Moscow, it faces the dual tasks of urban governance and socio-economic reform in its urban development. Neither task is easy, and the road for Moscow to become a modern international metropolis is still very difficult.