The main goal of the My District program launched by the Mayor of Moscow is to create equalized development conditions for each and every district of the city. This program has been implemented since 2018 in 146 municipalities of the city, including 125 “old” districts and 21 settlements located in New Moscow suburban area. Thanks to the program, the image of each district is undergoing gradual transformation for the better; life in residential areas is becoming more interesting, eventful and convenient.
The My District program is responsible for the large-scale landscaping projects currently in progress in various parts of Moscow, as well as for the construction of new schools and kindergartens (not to mention multiple areas for recreation, sports and cultural activities). Now Muscovites have no need to go downtown on days-off, for everything they need is already present in their own neighborhood.
One of the important features of the My District program, which is worth mentioning separately, is a constant dialogue with the districts' residents and the analysis of their points of view. Residents can express their opinion about a particular object that has appeared in the territory of a certain district by voting on the Active Citizen portal, by contacting us via the Mos.ru website, or by calling the hotline.
Design, as we see it, is primarily the development of creative concepts that will not only please the eye, but also be convenient, practical and modern. And – what is even important – they will fully meet the set challenges and tasks. Designer's work is, of course, an ongoing creative process that requires inspiration and concentration. However, one should always remember that this creative work must result in a specific product that has to be not only aesthetically pleasing, but also be as convenient in use as possible.
From our point of view, the creation of a particular concept heavily relies on color solutions (e.g., certain shades that are currently trending), the chosen style and the materials used. Each and every detail requires careful and thoughtful consideration. The combination of all the above-described factors is what makes up the overall success of a particular project.
To our team, a design means the original expression of its author's personality, creative abilities, values and inner world.
In our opinion, of primary importance is the clear vision of the concept that a designer wants to implement. A truly creative idea and the practical ways of its translation into reality. It is vital to understand the current trends and opportunities for their correct application.
Another issue worth mentioning is modern technologies. Nowadays, it is plain impossible to imagine a successful design that doesn't incorporate them. When creating the concept of the City: Details exhibition held in October 2019 as part of the My District program, we did our best to ensure the extensive use of innovative technologies. Let me tell you about one particularly interesting solution. An amazing enclosed space – a special darkened area – was created in a section of the exhibition called the Night City. The Night City gave the visitors the general impression of a park at night, with its enchanting atmosphere, thanks to the advanced lighting solutions that create a comfortable environment via light and video projections. Modern outdoor lighting and street illumination systems, as well as an unusual object designed specially for kids – an interactive sandbox – were demonstrated in the darkened area. A special interactive projector was fixed above the sand-filled table top. The projector not only projected images on the table, but also followed the movements of users and changed the projected image accordingly. Thus, a realistic picture of a landscape with volcanoes and water reservoirs was obtained.
First of all, of course, it is the use of environmentally friendly raw stuff and materials for the implementation of designer's concepts. But not only that. The ultimate goal of design is to create a harmonious environment and transform the world around us. Thus, ecology and environment were among the keynote themes of our exposition at the last City: Details exhibition. Parks, squares, urban green spaces, recreation areas, sports and children's playgrounds – we made sure to develop and present the elements that make our city and its districts beautiful, modern, convenient to live in and environmentally friendly.
The last exhibition was the very City: Details – 2019 that we've just been talking about. That was the first time this exhibition was held, and its concept was a very interesting one, indeed. The expocenter that hosted the interactive exhibition had an area of 15,000 square meters. The entire pavilion was divided into the sections representing the zones that city residents are used to: a major attraction of a district, an amphitheater, a night city installation, a square for playing board games, a sports ground, children's playgrounds, a street, and a food court. In fact, this concept became a living and timely response to the most recent trends that are changing the urban environment and life in cities – and Moscow is no exception.
Not only designers worked on this idea; our entire team, and the employees involved in the implementation of the My District program, made a major contribution to its development. It was them who set the main vector and initiated this approach.
By the way, the visitors of the exhibition were able to test most of the objects live, and vote for the ones they considered to be the best. Having voted for their favorites, Muscovites thus compiled a catalog of the best solutions that the municipal services currently use as a manual in their implementation of the My District program.
Our team lives in Moscow. Needless to say, the history and culture of our city are directly affecting the field of design. There are many successful examples in our city, when modern landscaping is carried out with due consideration of the history and traditions of the district under reconstruction. In the North-Eastern district of the capital, for example, the entry elements of the Lianozovsky promenade, stylized as snow-white multi-storied triangular arcades, serve to remind local residents and visitors of the Lianozovsky summer cottage community – the predecessor of the district.
To sum up, let us note that, in the future, the role of urban design in Moscow will be to facilitate the citizens' involvement in the city life, thus making it truly comfortable, modern and up-to-date.
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