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Photo by M. Denisov.

The Mayor of Moscow spoke at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and told how the Russian capital was able to compete with other cities for human capital.

The main activity of modern cities is caring for residents and improving their quality of life. Sergei Sobyanin told about this at Petersburg International Economic Forum… The Mayor of Moscow spoke at the session “Quality of life – the main driver of modern development”.

“Cities that have achieved a high quality living environment for their citizens are leaders, unconditional leaders in economic growth. And this is a completely different connection between growth and the quality of life, between human capital and capital in its general understanding, ”said Sergei Sobyanin.

According to him, now cities have begun to compete for people. To do this, they strive to be the best in all areas: they not only develop the urban environment, but also modernize the education and health care systems, and increase career opportunities.

To become a comfortable city, Moscow went through a difficult transition period. According to Sergei Sobyanin, this new course was supported by the majority of Muscovites. Nevertheless, the work on the renovation of the city affected businessmen – owners of stalls, markets, advertising sites.

Previously, the streets of the capital were more adapted for cars than for pedestrians. Now in the city new public spaces have been created and continue to appear, as well as the transport system is developing. Abandoned industrial zones are being reorganized, and modern quarters with housing, jobs, social and cultural facilities are being created in their place.

“Such a break in the paradigm of the city’s development was objective and ripe. All the townspeople understood: this cannot continue to happen, we are simply moving into a dead end. When millions of new cars appear on the roads every 5-10 years, the city becomes less and less comfortable, harsh and environmentally unpleasant. It was a public internal request, ”said Sergei Sobyanin.

Igor Shuvalov, Chairman of the Russian State Development Corporation VEB.RF, recalled that several years ago, Moscow Urban Forum… It was within the framework of this event, thanks to discussions with various experts, that an understanding came about what the quality of life in a city should be.

“Moscow was changing and the attitude of Muscovites to their city was changing. In general, in this sense, we have made a huge leap forward with you. I don’t know how much we are able to appreciate the quality that accompanies Moscow life, but this is one of the best qualities of life in the world. And the fact that Moscow burst into this global race and maintains one of the leading positions is a great achievement, “said Igor Shuvalov.

Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) Svetlana Chupsheva stressed that Moscow has changed in terms of the urban environment and public spaces. Now the experience of the capital is being studied in the regions of Russia and some practices are being adopted.

But Moscow itself studied international experience, and is now interested in the practice of Shanghai and Beijing. Cities face new challenges, the result of solving which will be seen only after a few years. Sergei Sobyanin noted that one of the main problems today is the structure of the economy and jobs: it is necessary to decide which area is worth developing.

“How to touch this economy of a new period, a new time? This is all very interesting, extremely interesting, and the main thing is not to be mistaken in the development strategy that you are laying down today, ”concluded Sergei Sobyanin.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will run until June 5. It is a leading platform for business representatives to communicate and discuss key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world at large.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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