Moscow agglomeration study

The city of Moscow is experiencing a period of rapid population growth; over the last decade the population has risen from 8 million to over 11 million. This growth has mainly been caused by high levels of both internal and international migration.

The city itself is highly centralised in spatial and economic terms, with the majority of business and other employment sources located in or near the historic centre. Levels of affordability as well as housing supply patterns have meant that substantial volumes of in-migrants have moved to relatively peripheral areas of the city. The overall result is a huge volume of movement in and out of central Moscow on a daily basis, putting tremendous pressure on transport networks and causing substantial disruption.

In response to these concerns, the Moscow City Government organised a major competition to examine options for the physical and economic reconfiguration of the city. A key element was to develop spatial plans for a large scale urban extension to the south west of Moscow which would eventually contain a substantial number of national government functions.

Happold Trust worked as part of an international consortium to develop key components of an economic strategy that would support the development of the proposed extension to the city of Moscow. We examined how to create new economic nodes and uses for more central areas of the city that had become de-industrialised and under-utilised. A major element of the work involved investigation of key sectors and industries that could support sustainable population growth and to examine the viability of different development phasing programmes. The project also involved a review of potential funding mechanisms and the possible application of public private partnership (PPP) models to the Russian context.

Key facts

  • Moscow is the most populous city on the European continent
  • Russia's capital is also the most expensive city in Europe
  • The city urgently requires a physical and economic reconfiguration

The Project Details

Location: Moscow, Russia

Client: Moscow City Government

Architect: Andrei Chernikov Architectural Studio