Best city improvement

Winner
Danilovsky Market

Transformations at Danilovsky Market began in 2011. Maxim Popov was appointed to the post of market director, while he was working in the Ginza Project and, in four years, he transformed a Soviet collective farm market to a cult place. The market did not close in all that time. It operarted as usual. Rebuilding of the sales space went on night and day. The first changes occurred in the first few months: the space was cleaned and slightly modernized, sellers began to wear uniforms, counters were covered in paper decorated with the market’s logo, Internet ordering with two-hour delivery was initiated, and organized crime was expelled. At the same time, several modern urban cafes opened at the market, serving products from the surrounding stalls. In the summer of 2015, Ginza also began working with the city’s Stay Hungry food festivals.

The atmosphere at the market has become so European that, in March 2015, a performance by Spam Theatre took place there as part of the Golden Mask Festival and, in September it hosted the Book Market – a fair of intellectual literature under the leadership of Boris Kupriyanov ("Falanster"). Also in September, Harvest Day was held at Danilovsky Market, attended by farmers from the Kaluga region, Bashkiria, Transbaikal and other regions of Russia, as well as dacha residents from outside Moscow, to whom the market provides a free place for sales.

MTS – #WowMoscow cross-media project

In 2015, MTS launched a creative project for young people with an online component – wowmoscow.mts.ru, with useful educational and entertainment content – and an eventful active part. Among the activities sponsored by MTS as part of the project are a series of master classes called "Be a Success: Celebrities Tell You How" with journalist Vladimir Pozner, writer Sergei Minayev and rapper Timati among the speakers. The number of applications for the master classes exceeded the number of seats by seven times. There is also 4G LTE Taxi – when ordering a taxi through the Yandex.Taxi service, an MTS-branded Maserati Quattroporte or Chevrolet Camaro arrives and takes passengers to their destinations for free. The Wowbus ferries students from Universitet Metro station to the main building of Moscow State University and provides free Internet on the way. Skateparks have been opened in Park Pobedy and VDNKh, workout areas at Serebryany Bor, "warm beaches" at ski resorts in the Moscow region, mirror mazes in Gorky Park during the New Year's holidays and, finally, an art installation in the shape of a heart on Valentine's Day, which is lights up and warms visitors to an extent depending on the number of hashtags in social networks.

Reconstruction of Triumphal Square

Triumphal Square opened in September after reconstruction. Work on its improvement began in May 2015. Architects from buromoscow closed the area to automobiles, paved it with granite tiles, and made the space completely pedestrian. As conceived by the bureau, the renovated square should convey the feeling of youth and romance – to this end, swings were installed that can be used by any passersby. This is the design of architects Olga Aleksakova and Julia Burdova, which propelled buromoscow ahead of more than 40 competitors, including the Wowhaus bureau, creators of the plan for Strelka and Gorky Park, in a Spring 2014 architectural competition. Prior to that, there were no urban popular attractions in Moscow or any other world capital.

During negotiations with city authorities, pavilions for drinking coffee, buying newspapers and obtaining information about the city were also placed on the square, along with the swings. By next spring, trees – which are so lacking in the city center – will be planted on the square: linden around the perimeter, and apple and maple around the monument to Mayakovsky.

New Mosgortrans Services

The urban land transportation operator introduced 3 new night routes this year. The Bk and Bch night trolleys run every 15 minutes, and the rest of the night routes run at 30-minute intervals. For the convenience of passengers in the city center, buses with radial routes and trolley No. 63 stop at Lubyanka Square, where passengers can make transfers. The night fare is the same as rates during the day.

In 2015, Mosgortrans also initiated a project to equip municipal ground transport with wireless access points to the Internet free of charge. Today, this service covers 450 stops in various districts of the capital. Special stickers in waiting areas indicate the availability of Wi-Fi. More than 50 people can access Wi-Fi at the same time at each stop. The duration of a session is limited to 25 minutes, the speed of the Internet connection is up to 10 megabits per second. Mosgortrans has announced a tender for the organization of access to wireless Internet inside buses, trolleys and tramways.

Restructuring of Russian Post

Russian Post CEO Dmitry Strashnov’s predecessor was dismissed at the end of April 2013 because of the scandal caused by the buildup of 500 tonnes of parcels at Sheremetyevo Airport and the complete collapse of international postal exchange.

Before his appointment at Russian Post, Strashnov headed cellular operator Tele 2 and he brought managers from his previous employer, as well as those from other large private companies, with him. The first thing they did was to normalize relations with customs, which were spoiled during the collapse in 2013. Delivery times for international parcels depend most of all on customs. The company has created good working conditions for customs officers at the post office (all the way to repairing restrooms) and donated scanners and other modern equipment for customs use. As a result, in early 2015, the volume of international mail had quadrupled as compared to 2012.

Strashnov’s team then began to decrease share of delivery agents and enter into direct contracts with airlines and road carriers. According to Russian Post, in 2014, the volume of parcels delivered increased by 60% compared to 2012, while the average delivery time in the two years declined from 90 days to 14. While Russian Post received more than 250,000 complaints a month in written form alone in 2012, in early 2015 their number had dropped to 20,000-40,000 a month.

The number of international parcels and small packets processed by Russian Post in the first half of 2015 has increased by 50% compared with the same period a year earlier, to 49 million. According to Russian Post, the sharp rise in the number of international shipments is explained by the increasing number of orders from Internet stores (about 80% of incoming international mail traffic). The average delivery time for foreign shipments, from the time of the order in the online store to receipt by the post office, is 7-10 days in Central Russia and 15-20 days in the country as a whole.

Swimming Pools in Parks

The Moscow Department of Culture opened four pools in city parks in the summer of 2015. In Northern Tushino, the Ponton two-level swimming pool opened for family recreation. In Izmailovo Park, a children's pool was completed. In addition, outdoor pools opened in Sokolniki and Fili. On Pioneer Pond in Gorky Park, a white sand beach was opened. The Department has also completely renovated 15 recreational areas near the water in parks, out of 38 operating during the summer.