Interview with Sergey Kuznetsov, Moscow Chief Architect | The Plan
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Interview with Sergey Kuznetsov, Moscow Chief Architect

Andrea Boschetti: Today Moscow is entering a phase of modernization, largely due to the efforts of the team of the new government and the city’s new Chief Architect. Can you tell me how you started your work as the city’s Chief Architect? What is your strategy and vision for the city of the future?
Sergey Kuznetsov: Prior to my appointment as the chief architect of Moscow, I was able to work on several major planning projects, and see a lot of different cities. So I had some idea of the place the Russian capital has among the largest cities in the world. Unfortunately, that place was not even in the top ten - and this has always been extremely frustrating. Not only for me! Today the main efforts of the Moscow government headed by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin are aimed at decreasing the gap between Moscow and other European cities on such indicators as comfort, safety and variety of living spaces.
One of the key problems of present-day Moscow, in my opinion, is that today the city lacks an articulated graduation of degrees of privacy of spaces. Ideally, the arrangement should look like this: your apartment, porch and yard; your street or its immediate area (such as market squares in European cities); the central square; the central avenue, and only then the most public places - theatre, cinema, exhibition hall, shopping mall, airport. Citizens should be able to choose what suits them according to their mood and the situation. But Moscow today does not yet provide that kind of choice: a person here can be either in his apartment with the maximum degree of privacy, or immediately on a huge motorway with a bunch of cars and a crowd of people. As chief architect of the city, I see the solution to this problem as the gradual replacement of the decades-old principle of micro-district city development based on quarters. A micro-district is a huge space, a mega-structure, which people are unable to comprehend, let alone...

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