Moscow in ratings
The Russian capital ranked sixth in terms of living standards on the World’s Best Cities rating, published by the international consulting company Resonance. Experts looked at a total of 100 cities. They were assessed across different metrics, including infrastructure development, employment opportunities, cultural life, tourism, and the economy.
London was in first place, followed by Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Barcelona. Moscow placed ahead of Chicago, Singapore, Dubai, and San Francisco.
The rating analyzed performance metrics like infrastructure development, housing accessibility, employment opportunities, tourism, the environment, and others.
The experts were impressed by the Russian capital’s park Zaryadye, the results of the city-wide “My Street” program, and the organization of the 2018 World Cup. Moreover, Moscow is also in the lead in the “Museums” category. The Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum are highlighted as “must-visit” places in the rating. The analysts also gave high marks to the World Cup, which took place in Russia this summer – a lot of matches were held in Moscow.
By the way, the city budget increased by 14.8 billion rubles as a result of the World Cup – this is more than half of the total sum of income from tourism in 2010. During the event alone, almost 4.5 million tourists visited Moscow, including about 2.3 million people who came from abroad.
Moscow placed second on the US tourism portal Travel Pulse list of the most-photographed cities in the world. The rating was put together based on statistics from Dreamstime, a photo stock service. The only city ahead of Moscow is New York. London is in third place. The list also includes Bangkok, Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Venice, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Barcelona, Prague, Beijing, Singapore, and Kiev.
Since last year, Zaryadye Park, which has become a landmark attraction in the capital, is often featured in photos online. The park was not only appreciated by city residents and guests, but also Time magazine. It included Zaryadye on the list of 100 most prominent locations in the world.
Moreover, Moscow was among the best cities to travel to according to the leading international travel guide Lonely Planet and the journal National Geographic.
Parking with tennis courts on the roof
According to Moscow’s Chief Architect Sergey Kuznetsov, a multi-purpose parking space for 100 cars and a usable roof will be built on Leningradsky Prospekt. The three-level parking lot will be located at Leningradsky Prospekt 15.
“At the instructions of Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, we’re building different types of parking spaces in the capital for the convenience of city residents – there are both underground and above-ground parking lots. We’ve also seen that there is a trend to expand the functionality of these spaces. The parking lot on Leningradsky Prospekt will include athletic facilities: tennis courts and rooms for playing squash and mini-football,” Sergey Kuznetsov said.
The total area of the building will be 6,000 square meters. The inside will house a parking lot for 100 cars, including spaces for people with disabilities, a reception space, rooms for playing squash and mini-football, a lounge, and administrative and service rooms for storing inventory.
The roof will house indoor tennis courts with separate ventilation systems. the tents will be constructed from arched trusses covered with a with high-performance insulation membrane.
Turgenev House-Museum after restoration
Ivan Turgenev’s House-Museum on Ostozhenka Street has opened its doors after a comprehensive restoration project. The building now has a modern exhibition hall. There is also a monument to Ivan Turgenev and a small city sculpture called “Mumu.” Thus, Ostozhenka Street now has a “Turgenev Quarter” – a new cultural and recreational space. Its opening coincides with the 200-year anniversary since the birth of the famous writer. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin took part in the opening ceremony for the museum.
“The exposition is unique in many ways. It will feature real items from Turgenev’s era, there will be new opportunities to hold exhibitions, concerts, and educational programs that introduce people to the writer’s work. As we know, Turgenev spent a lot of time abroad, a lot of Turgenev’s prose was written there, and his translations gave the world some of the most significant and famous works of literature,” Vladimir Putin said.
Ivan Turgenev’s museum is located inside a historical building, at the following address: Ostozhenka Street 37/7, building 1. It’s recognized as a cultural heritage site of federal significance. In the 1840s-50s, the writer’s mother (Varvara P. Turgeneva) lived in the two-story wooden house with attic, which was built in 1818-1819. Ivan Turgenev visited her often, and the events that took place at the house on Ostozhenka inspired his famous story “Mumu.”
In 2007, the Government of Moscow made the decision to establish a museum inside Ivan Turgenev’s house. It became part of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. The total area of the house is 992 square meters.
The first floor features recreations of interiors that would have been found in a noble estate. The second floor (the attic), which used to house the writer’s office, is now open to visitors for the first time. Experts recreated the atmosphere of Ivan Turgenev’s home based on the writer’s recollections and descriptions in his own works.
The new exposition combines museum items with modern multimedia technologies, which enabled the creators to significantly expand and diversify the space inside the museum. The exposition currently features sculptures, books, documents, drawings, photographs, paintings, sketches, porcelain, metal, fabrics, and furniture.
The museum has also recently received new exhibits, which will be presented to the general public for the first time. The museum’s exhibition features a total of 1,500 exhibits. 1,025 unique exhibits were acquired by or given to the museum, and 768 museum items have undergone restoration.
Water transport in the capital
In 2020, the city plans to launch a new water transport route. The pilot route will run along the Moscow River, from Kievsky Train Station to Nizhniye Mnevniki. It will connect the Moscow City business center to the city’s parks and Kievsky Train Station.
There will be 7 stops along the way. The 10-kilometer route will encompass a total of four districts – Khoroshevo-Mnevniki, Filyevki Park, Presnenskiy, and Dorogomilovo. The vessels will be able to carry up to 100 people, and total capacity will amount to 1,500 passengers an hour. It will take 104 minutes to complete the route.
The water transport will give Muscovites access to new transport connections.
The docks will be located close to metro stations, MCC stations, and above-ground transport stops. The city’s public transport fees will apply on the water route, and passengers will be able to use their Troika cards to pay for transfers.
Upgrades to the country’s biggest film studio
Mosfilm completed the construction of the largest cinematographic repository and a new film studio. Film makers will now be able to build all kinds of sets: rainforest or the arctic coast, high-rise buildings of Moscow City or Manhattan. The area of the film shoot space is 1,600 square meters.
“Mosfilm is not only sticking around, it is becoming more modern. And I think that it will undergo a full makeover by the time of its 100-year anniversary, there will be now opportunities here. There will be modern studios and a concert hall that you’ve been dreaming of. So congratulations! This is an important event for the city,” Sergey Sobyanin said during a tour of the country’s main film studio.
Director General and Chairman of the Board at Mosfilm Karen Shakhnazarov thanked the Mayor of Moscow for his assistance with the construction project.
Mosfilm is a leading Russian film industry enterprise and one of the largest European studios. It covers an area of 30 hectares, and is located at Mosfilmovskaya Street, Building 1. The studio was established in the early 1920s. The production capacity of the film studio is over 100 films per year. Mosfilm is currently working on 86 films, and 23 are in the process of being shot.
There are a total of 15 film studios inside, and the last film studio was built in 1950. They have all been reconstructed over the past 20 years. A 16th film studio was built this year, and finishing works are currently in progress.
A big source of pride for Mosfilm is the unique collections of costumes, furniture, and props, which total about 400,000 repository units. The studio has been collecting these items since the studio’s inception.
Sergey Sobyanin recalled that there were a lot of disagreements about the Mosfilm territory in the late 1990s. There were proposals to replace it with a shopping center or a large residential area. But in 2013, the studio launched a modernization project at the instruction of Vladimir Putin. In 2016, a contract that provided for the construction of new Mosfilm facilities was signed with an investor. Work on new facilities began in 2017.
The first stage of construction included the House of Costumes and Props and film studio No.16, and was completed in September 2018.
In the first quarter of 2019, Mosfilm plans to start the second stage of construction – a cinema complex and film studio No.17. This stage is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The project’s implementation is managed by the Moscow government. ‘We’re going to monitor the project and help implement it until it’s complete. I hope that it will be finished before the scheduled date,” the Mayor of Moscow added. The project is funded by an investor, so no funds from the city budget will be used to complete the work. Total investment volumes amount to 5 billion rubles.
The modern two-story building that covers a total area of 15,500 square meters houses many functional spaces. This will enable Mosfilm to store its existing collection of props and make space for new items. The reserve space inside the House of Costumes and Props is 30% bigger.
There are no equivalents to this building in Russia, or anywhere in the world. There will be over 70 retro cars and over 100 horse-buses on the ground floor. There is also space for Mosfilm’s production vehicles. The first floor will house the props, and the costumes will be on the second floor.
The new Mosfilm studio has unique acoustic capabilities. A multi-level soundproofing system – on the floor, the ceiling, and the walls – will record a clear sound directly on set. According to Karen Shakhnazarov, this will enable the studio to boost productivity, record live sound on the spot, and reduce expenses for recording sound separately.
A distinctive feature of studio No.16 (both in terms of construction and functionality) – is the so-called “inlet collector.” The 6-meter gate can accommodate any type of heavy equipment. This simplifies the unloading and assembly of large set decorations.
St. Basil’s Cathedral now has navigation signs
The Red Square has completed the installation of navigation signs near one of the most significant monuments to 16th-century Russian architecture – the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, better known as St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Information steles were installed inside of the cathedral, which comprises 10 churches dedicated to Basil the Blessed, Alexander Svirsky, Saint Barlaam of Khutyn, the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Saint Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia, Saint Martyrs Cyprian and Justinia, Nikola Velikoretsky, the Holy Trinity, the Three Patriarchs of Alexandria, and the Central Church of the Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also one of the seven wonders of Russia, like the Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg and Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd. It’s visited by hundreds of thousands of Muscovites and tourists every year.
There are a total of 29 information points in the cathedral’s navigation sign system. These include steles, boards, and directional signs that help museum visitors navigate their visit of the world-famous attraction. The information is presented in three languages – Russian, English, and Chinese.
Six street navigation steles are located around the building on Red Square. They present descriptions of the cathedral and the churches inside it, the cathedral’s history and layout, and the building’s architectural nuances. The other signs are located inside the cathedral. They contain directional signs that let the visitors know where to go next, as well as exits and directions to the souvenir shop.
There is an information board with a map of the church at the entrance, which will help guests avoid getting lost inside.
Smart baggage check-in at the airport
The Moscow Domodedovo Airport and the airline S7 have introduced a smart-technology called Self Bag Drop (SBD), so that people can register and check their bags at the airport on their own. The entire process takes less than a minute and significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to check into flights.
The technology was developed by SITA – a global leader in information and telecommunication solutions for the aviation industry.
24 registration stands will have SBD kiosks, which will allow passengers flying with other airlines to use the stands. Passengers will be able to check their bags on their own at the special Scan & Fly kiosks at the registration stand. The device is equipped with a document scanner and a handheld infrared barcode scanner. If a passenger has their boarding pass and baggage tag on hand, just three swift moves are enough to register and check in a bag. Just scan the electronic or paper boarding pass, scan the tag, and put it on the bag. If the passenger doesn’t have a tag yet, they can print one at the kiosk. Then, all the passenger has to do it put the bag with the tag on the conveyor belt.
Domodedovo Airport is in the process of implementing a wide-scale transition to paperless service. In 2017, the terminal was equipped with eGate – automated turnstiles for processing electronic boarding passes. They enable passengers to go through passport control on their own at the entrance to the departure area and to board planes. All the traveller has to do is scan the QR code on their phone.
Moscow Central Diameters (MCD) – a new megaproject
Moscow is launching a new mega-project: diametrical routes for suburban railway lines will become a new form of transportation. Essentially, these are new above-ground metro lines that will connect the city to the Moscow region. The first two diameters will be launched at the end of 2019 – beginning of 2020. The other routes are currently under development.
Other countries have successfully implemented similar projects. Nearly all European cities feature examples of integrations between railways infrastructure and the metro. For example, there is the S-Bahn in Germany, the RER in France and the Overground in London.
The existing railway infrastructure will be modernized, and it will serve as the foundation for the new public transportation service. There will be convenient transfers to other transport, a unified ticket system, services, and navigation signs that everybody who takes the metro and the Moscow Central Circle is used to. Trains will run along the new routes at regular intervals, arriving every five to six minutes during rush hour. At the same time, the current suburban trains will continue to run along the railway lines.
After the first stage of the program is complete, public transport will be more accessible to an additional 2.3 million people.
Further development of the diameters will enable the city to create additional passenger seats, balance out passenger traffic volumes on public transportation, and reduce traffic on highways.
The hours for the Moscow Central Diameters will the same as for the rest of the metro – from 5:30am to 1:00am. Overall, according to expert forecasts, the implementation of the MCD project will reduce the pressure on the city’s entire transport infrastructure by 10-12%.
The Odintsovo-Lobnya Diameter will have 12 interchanges with transfers to the metro, the MCC, and radial railway routes.
Passengers on the Nakhabino-Podolsk line will be able to make 15 transfer to the metro, the MCC, and radial railway routes.
It’s already been announced that the city’s electric train “Ivolga,” which was fully designed and assembled in Russia, will be running on the first two MCD routes. In terms of technical solutions, convenience, and economic efficiency, the Ivolga is on par with all the best foreign equivalents, and is even superior to them in some aspects.
The Ivolga is equipped with all modern passenger services – mounts for bicycles, USB sockets for charging gadgets, video monitors, Wi-Fi access points, and convenient information boards.
The trains are also well-adapted for passengers with limited mobility: there are supports for wheelchairs and bathrooms. For visually impaired passengers, the announcements on the information boards will be duplicated in Braille.
A convenient ticket system will be developed in order to comfortably integrate the diameters with the rest of the city’s public transport. The diameters will operate in accordance with the same standards as the metro and the MCC – the ticket price will be the same, and they’ll also use the same type of ticket. Passengers will be able to use Troika cards to pay for transfers.
First COS store in Russia
The London brand’s first store is located on the second floor of the main atrium in Afimall City shopping center in Moscow. ‘We’re very happy to open our first store in Russia. Moscow is a spectacular and exciting city, and we think it’s the ideal location for our first store. We hope that Russian customers will enjoy our collections, which will be presented in our new space inside the Afimall City shopping center,” said Marie Honda, Managing Director of COS.
The new store reflects the aesthetics of COS, which is expressed through the store’s practical design in combination with decorative elements made out of natural materials. The store is finished with limestone from Dagestan, which gives it a unique look.
The area of the first COS store in Russia is 540 square meters. It features collections for women, men, and children, along with accessories.
Jewelry store with a coffee shop at the Patriarch’s Ponds
The jewelry brand Avgvst has opened its first store in Moscow. This brand became popular in Russia after the Space Atlas collection (a joint project with Russian artist Protey Temen), lollipop pendants, and other kinds of minimalist jewelry. And now the brand has a space in Moscow. The store is definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t plan on buying jewelry.
The store on Maliy Kozikhinsky Pereulok was designed by architect Harry Nuriev (Crosby Studios). The result is a bright yellow space with a minimalist display case for jewelry, a comfortable sofa, small tables, and an abundance of mirrors. It’s not immediately obvious that the space is a jewelry store. Passers-by drop in, drawn in by the aroma of hot coffee from the “Chelovek i Parokhod” coffee shop, and have no idea what awaits them inside.
The store pays special attention to customer experience here. The creators wanted a visit to the jewelry store to be a small joyful event for women – a place where they can treat themselves, chat with like-minded people, listen to music, and enjoy good-quality interior materials. So Avgvst in Moscow turned out to be a very special place, where you can also get a cup of good black coffee.
Aside from jewelry, the store sells books, magazines, decorative items, notepads, and pens – small items that can bring joy to people every day. There is also a separate display with jewelry from the brands Himere and Maria Stern.
New pedestrian area
The city will have a new pedestrian area, which will run from the church of Christ the Savior to Yakimanskaya Embankment. The total area will cover 2.1 hectares.
The project will entail the reconstruction of the pedestrian Patriarch’s Bridge on the section between Beresnevskaya and Yakimanskaya Embankments. Console stands (amphitheaters), stairs, and elevators will be constructed there. The city also plans to build three small social and cultural centers under the bridge. Their total area will cover 5,700 square meters.
The city also plans to improve the section of Bolotnaya Embankment that is adjacent to the Patriarch’s Bridge. There will be a descent to the Vodotvodniy Canal. There will be no cars allowed in this area. The new territory will serve as an extension of the Museum of Modern Art, which will be established inside the historical GES-2 building.
Over the past few years, the city has improved and reconstructed 53 kilometers of shoreline. Another 20 kilometers of embankments will undergo improvement works before 2020.
PHO PHO. A Vietnamese street food restaurant called Pho Pho has opened its doors at Sheremetyevo airport. After opening a restaurant at Usachevskiy Market last year, the restaurant now has a second location on the city’s map. Now, Sheremetyevo passengers flying out of Terminal B can try the most popular Vietnamese dish – pho soup, along with plenty of traditional appetizers and drinks that Vietnamese people cook at home. Authentic Vietnamese drinks stand out on the restaurant’s menu: coffee with condensed milk, jasmine tea, anchan and the popular Fo Cha – Asian iced tea with tapioca balls, condensed milk, and marmalade. The restaurant is located neat gates No. 107 and 108, inside terminal B (3rd floor).
GO EAST. This is a Pan-Asian restaurant from the famous Italian chef William Lamberti with reasonable prices. The menu tailors for two types of dining. The first is for big groups that are looking to order a bunch of appetizers and share all of them. The second is for people who come by themselves, get a bowl of noodles, and enjoy. The menu isn’t overly long – there are less than 30 selections. The chefs decided to exclude boring options and developed their own unique recipes with the help of new technologies. The menu has tataki and tempura, noodles and Peking duck, dim sum, poke, citrus and rice vinegar salads and, of course, a full set of sushi and sashimi rolls that have their own section. There is a lot of sauce on almost everything, and a lot of snacks and salads. The interior design matches the idea well. The main color motifs are red, black, and wood, the open kitchen features yellow lighting, and there are frivolous curtains at the entrance – it has that modern Asian flair that’s pleasing to the eye.
DNK. This innovative project on Rodchelskaya Street 15 combines two different concepts. During the day, it’s an Asian restaurant that features popular street food. In the evening, the space turns into a hip hop club, with performances by Russian and international stars, as well as parties for fans of this popular music genre. The interior is decorated city jungle style: there are live plants, beetles and butterflies on the walls and ceiling, a lamp in the shape of a medusa, mirrors, metal details, and bright, soft furniture. Guests are offered modern Asian food, a raw bar, and popular street food dishes. The Bar Point room offers guests the best cocktail sommelier in Moscow, and proves that even strong drinks can be healthy.
TEMPO DI PASTA. A reasonably-priced pasta bar on Myasnitskaya Street inside the cozy courtyard of the Stroganov School, which serves 47 different types of handmade pasta. Guests can try a ready-made classic recipe or make their own pasta, adding different spices and sauces themselves. The pasta is made according to Signor Paoloni’s family recipe, just like the homemade pasta made from coarse-ground flour made out of durum wheat that’s used in Rome. Every dish is like a Lego creation, where you can easily substitute any element. And the best part is that it costs just 260-460 rubles per dish.
There are two rooms that can seat 100 people, along with a bar, dance floor, and a high-quality sound system.
The average check of 800 rubles, which can easily include a glass of wine (starting at 180 rubles) will be complemented by a cultural program – lectures about Italian culture, artists, Italian culinary classes for children, and wine tastings from the best sommeliers in Moscow.
LITTLE GARDEN KITCHEN & BAR. This new garden-restaurant popped up in the very center of Moscow, at the intersection of Bolshaya Lubyanka and Bolshoy Kiselniy Pereulok. The airy space is filled with live plants. The windows stay open and the interior is light and elegant, making this place a true oasis in the city’s concrete jungle. The restaurant’s two floors can fit over 70 people at a time. The menu features southern European dishes: light salads, tapas, pinchos, pasta and risotto, and original main courses. The food here is astonishingly light and features unusual combinations of ingredients, bold experiments, and original interpretations of European classics.
All drinks from the bar are refreshing and light, and the menu features over twenty original cocktails. Original presentation is key here.
This restaurant is a good place for business lunches, romantic nights out, and family dinners. The bar space is also special. In the evenings, the restaurant is filled with the rhythms of music. Parties with DJs gather connoisseurs of fine cuisine, a light atmosphere, and fresh music trends.
ChaCha. This new restaurant in Mnevniki has an unusual concept: the waiters are actors and singers from Georgia. Graduates of theatre universities put on mini-plays, complete with singing and dancing, when they’re not serving people dishes. Traditional Georgian food is featured on the menu along with the restaurant’s original dishes. There is a khinkali spot on the first floor of the restaurant, which has an open kitchen and a small cafe that lets guests watch as their food is prepared. The first floor also has stands with nuts and dried fruit, homemade jam and sweets. The chefs make khinkali, kutaby, and chebureki, and bake pita bread. Guests can grab their order to go or stay for a snack at the cafe.
UMAMI MOSCOW. This restaurant, which has a menu filled with fresh fish, crabs, and seafood, opened its doors on the second floor of Usachevskiy Market. the restaurant has four mono-kitchens: Ponzu is a raw bar with fresh fish from Japan and the Far East; Robata is a traditional Japanese grill which is great for preparing fish and seafood; Wokowaya features noodles and soups made in a Chinese wok; and Falanga has selections made with crab meat. There is also Alchemist – the restaurant’s bar. Each corner has its own menu. Guests can also pick out whatever they like in the restaurant’s fish stand and tell the chef what kind of dish they would like made out of the product. There are a lot of options to pick from: wild Japanese fish, Kamchatka crab, shrimp, scallops. The chefs can give you advice about what kind of dish would work best for a particular fish, as well as add to or remove ingredients from selections featured on the menu.
The restaurant’s interior is like a minimalist, modern-day Asia with interesting details and a large collection of live plants. Guests can sit at individual tables or at by the counter at any of the four kitchens, where they can chat with the chefs, learn more about the products, and see how the food is prepared right in front of them.
GILO DIM SUM. The first floor of the Central Market (Rozhdestvenskiy Bulvar 1) has opened a spot from the chef Giacomo Lombardi. The cuisine is a unique mix of Asia and Europe – the chef’s unusual take on Chinese dim sum. They are made with traditional Chinese dough and fillings typical for ravioli. The dim sum in sets of 5 or 8, with specially selected sauces on the side. A sous chef from China is in charge of preparing them.
DIPLOMAT. This project on Tsvetnoy Bulvar 5 is the brainchild of one of the founders of Black Star Walter Chassem and his wife Cindy. Elena Savchuk, the best female chef in Russia according to the 2017 French guide put together by Gault & Millau, is in charge of the kitchen here. The menu can definitely be classified as fusion food. the first floor has a restaurant with shawarma and original takes on pop dishes, and the second floor houses a bohemian R’n’B bar. Aside from European cuisine, the first floor of the building also has an Eastern section, complete with a tandoor, doner kebab and kutab, which are baked by women from Armenia on the spot. As an alternative to the standard bruschetta, there is something called the “fusion tandoor” – a mini-tandoor cake with different fillings: Asian eel, cream cheese and radish, or with vanilla goat cheese, tomatoes and grapes, or eggplant mousse, artichokes, giant capers and baked bell pepper. Another specialty is the doner donut, or the “do-it-yourself shawarma”: a dish for 2-3 people, with mini cakes and fillings.
The interior adheres to the same concept of combining things that seemingly don’t match. On Fridays and Saturdays, the space hosts parties with DJs. There are occasional performances by hip hop, R’n’B, and rap stars. The bar has a VIP room with a panoramic glass roof, and in the summer there is a veranda that overlooks Tsvetnoy Bulvar.