The city of Moscow spent nearly as much money on urban renewal over the past decade as the rest of the country combined, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made urbaniztion a top priority when he took office in 2010. In 2015, Sobyanin launched the Moya Ulitsa (My Street) initiative, which calls itself “the largest beautification project in Moscow’s modern history.”
Since 2010, Moscow spent 1.5 trillion rubles ($24 billion) on blagoustroystvo (urban renewal) with new parks, sidewalks and bicycle lanes — while the rest of the country’s cities spent 1.7 trillion rubles over the same period.
In the first 10 months of 2019 alone, the capital’s budget for beautification (281 billion rubles) was more than Russia spent on constructing the Crimean bridge and is comparable to the budgets of entire regions like Krasnodar and Tatarstan.
It was the equivalent of 15% of the city’s budget and more than it spent on education.
At the same time, Moscow’s income more than doubled over the past decade, from 1.13 trillion rubles in 2011 to 2.8 trillion rubles projected for next year.