A competition for the concept of developing the riverside areas of the Moscow River has been announced

31 July 2014

The international competition was announced by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. It will result in the formation of a unified urban planning strategy for the development of more than 200 km of embankments within the city limits until 2035, as well as specific proposals on a number of priority projects.

“It is necessary to hold an international competition to develop an unified project for the development of the riverside territory of the Moscow River, so that it would develop according to a unified concept and improve the urban environment” — said the Moscow Mayor at a government meeting.

The Chief Architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov

As a city-shaping element, an integrated concept of river development will help form a system of interconnected areas along the river and convert the river itself from a “barrier” into a key link in the city structure.

To date, only a quarter of the Moscow River waterfront has been well developed. Previous large-scale work on the reconstruction of embankments was conducted in Moscow in the 1930s as part of the 1935 master plan: at that time a number of embankments in the center of the capital received granite borders, which made them one of the city’s landmarks for many years to come. The length of the river within the boundaries of the modern city goes far beyond the historic center and there is a large percentage of undeveloped areas. According to the Chief Architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov, the percentage of undeveloped embankments is about forty percent; “And a large percentage is simply a lack of access to the river.”

A competition for the concept of developing the riverside areas of the Moscow River

According to the Deputy Mayor of Moscow on Urban Development and Construction, Marat Khusnullin, one of the main goals of this big project is to increase pedestrian links in the city and to use riverside areas year round. To accomplish this, the concept includes the construction of new bridges, embankment roads, pedestrian promenades, the development of the transport function of the river and the reconstruction of piers. Integrated development of the riverside areas will increase their attractiveness in terms of investment, said the Deputy Mayor. Thus, in the framework of working on the concept the contestants will be asked to develop a number of select priority areas, concerning in particular: ZIL, the territory of the Tushino airport, the so-called “Big City,” and the South Port. The projects which are already being implemented in a number of areas — such as ZIL, Taras Shevchenko embankment, Zaryadye Park, Nagatinskaya floodplain — will be integrated into the overall concept.

A competition for the concept of developing the riverside areas of the Moscow River

The length of the river within the city limits is 83 kilometers: this is approximately 200 km of embankment on both sides, of which 33.5 km are equipped for pedestrians, the length of transport embankments is 47.5 km, while the rest simply are not formed. Sergey Kuznetsov said that within the development concept of the river, embankments of various formats will be created in the city. There will be multifunctional embankments, where motor transport is preserved and a front of public spaces will be created overlooking the river. Natural embankments will remain — there is a lot of them especially in the north-western part of Moscow; finally, embankments, which are adjacent to residential areas, as explained by Kuznetsov, will literally be re-opened to residents who often do not have direct access to them. “The Moscow River will become a central, front street of the city with its unique facade, with very, I hope, interesting, good quality architecture,” — said the chief architect.

A competition for the concept of developing the riverside areas of the Moscow River

The competition will be conducted by the Institute of the General Plan commissioned by the Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of Moscow. Applications will be accepted from August 1 on the contest operator’s website. As noted by M. Khusnullin, priority will be given to the participants who have experience in developing urban areas in metropolises in particular, since the development of the river, he said, is a very complex engineering project, where it is needed to connect the transport components, utilities, and issues of visual appearance.

The competition will be held in two-stages: by September 12 the jury will select the six teams that during the second phase will receive detailed technical specifications for working on the design. Contest results will be announced on December 14, 2014. The winner will continue to be involved as an expert consultant in the development of the projects that will plan the territories in the first stage of the reorganization. The competition design materials will be adapted to the existing regulations of the Russian Federation by the Institute of the General Plan and will become recommendatory documents, including in amending the General Plan of Moscow. The prize fund is 30 million rubles.


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