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Issue № 74. June 2019

Would Complete & Living Streets Come to Russia? No: Russian Urban Transformation Initiatives Do Not Fully Correspond to the Best International Practices

Anna A. Voloshinskaya

Senior Researcher, Institute of Applied Economic Research, Сenter for Regional Development Strategies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Researcher, Institute of Macroeconomic Research, Laboratory of Small and Medium-Sized Business Studies, Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Pedestrian shopping streets will not become widespread practice in Russia: this conclusion follows from the comparison of Russian and international initiatives which aim to create comfortable urban environment.

We considered the following international initiatives: Complete streets (USA), Living streets (UK), Living Streets Aotearoa (New Zealand), the European project "Living streets" etc. These initiatives have the following features: active public participation; the presence of the vision, target and principles of urban transformation and developed system of information, lobbying legislation aimed at creating comfortable urban environment and analytical support for the implementation of projects on the ground.

The following Russian initiatives were considered: The Federal priority project "Formation of a comfortable urban environment", the all-Russian competition "Best municipal practice" and Urban environment Quality Index.

I found that Russian initiatives were not initially proposed by the professional and business community, they haven’t the transformation concept, the vision and the principles of urban design. There is no system which supports the ongoing reforms and lobbying for legislation that supports comfortable urban environment. In two of the three initiatives reviewed ideas of public transport priority, smart solutions and green technologies are absent too. As a result, Russian initiatives can lead to fragmentary transformations: their impact on attracting investment and business development will be quite weak.


Urban development policy, Russian Federal project "The Formation of a comfortable urban environment", pedestrian streets, shopping streets, new urbanism, Complete streets, Living Streets, Living Streets Aotearoa, all-Russian contest "Best municipal practices», Urban environment Quality Index.

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