Smart Moscow

Last week I visited Moscow to teach a short course and deliver a public lecture on smart cities hosted by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Studies.  In addition, I met some folks from Smart Moscow (part of the Administration of the Mayor and Government of Moscow), Yandex (the Russian Google), Habidatum (urban big data company), Strelka (an institute focusing on media, architecture and design).

smart moscow2The vision of a smart city, as articulated by the city administration, is based on three pillars of smart urban governance: (1) strategic planning using big data to develop and implement real-time adaptive management solutions; (2) sustainable, continuous development based on co-evolution of society and nature aimed at making life better while also reducing the negative impact on the environment; (3) engaging residents in the city’s administration through dialogue and collective decision-making using websites and mobile apps.

The programme has been running for about five years and now consists of suite of different e-government and management services (see Figure below).  These have been developed across a number of departments and agencies and like Dublin the Smart Moscow initiative has drawn these together to create a more coherent narrative, though it is not clear the extent to which they work in any coordinated way or their continued development is being undertaken cooperatively and in alignment.  It also seems that, as yet, there is no fully developed smart city strategy, advisory board or network, or communications programme (for example, the initiative does not appear to have a website in either Russian or English).  There is also a Smart City Lab within the Moscow government that is responsible for an innovation strategy.

My sense was that while the groundwork for Smart Moscow has been laid and there are a number of operational initiatives that Moscovites are familiar with they are largely unaware of Smart Moscow initiative itself.  It will therefore be interesting to see how Smart Moscow unfolds over the next few years and it would certainly be an interesting case study to examine in depth and compare to other European cities.

smart moscow

Rob Kitchin

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