Over the past few years, a number of parks and public spaces emerged in different parts of Moscow under the My District programme; the new spaces are competitive with such popular tourist attractions as Gorky Park and Arbat.
Built to the latest standards of urban development, these new landmarks are equally attractive for Moscow residents and tourists.
The only reminders of the fact that this place used to be an airfield include a plane on children's playground, walking paths mimicking the contours of taxiway strips, and the name of the nearby shopping centre: Aviapark ('aircraft depot'). The rest has changed beyond recognition. The flat surface of the airfield has become a multi-level area where the highest point is a hill with panoramic swings. Khodynka Pond located in the western part of the park has instantly become one of the most popular recreation spots for local residents. The entire park has been landscaped.
During warm seasons, Khodynka Field boasts a huge dry fountain with dynamic lighting. Lovers of unusual selfies are welcome to an unusual glass labyrinth built on one of the man-made hills. Children of all ages can use a large children's playground with an enormous plane, trampolines, and landscape slides. And if you're someone who likes outdoor activities, the park offers a number of sports areas and a modern bike lane.
Tyufeleva Roshcha, which opened its doors in 2018 as part of a large-scale renovation project of the ZIL industrial site, is unlike any other park in Moscow. A huge, artificially aged rusty pergola runs above the park and resembles an old conveyor belt. It was the idea of a Dutch architect Jerry van Eyck to use public art to capture the memories of this location. The rust on the pergola is a designer trick that helps emphasise the industrial motifs of the park. The architect chose to use weathering steel that forms a stable rust-like appearance that does not go away.
An important part of the new park is an artificial pond with an azure bottom that makes the water in the pond appear sky-blue. The pond in Tyufeleva Roshcha is one of the favourite spots for residents of the district to spend hot summer days. An educational multi-level platform for children is located nearby. The park also includes several tennis courts, a basketball and a volleyball court, and a workout area.
It's not just Moscow's former wastelands and industrial sites that are being revived: renowned landmarks are also on the list. One of the best examples of that is VDNH (which turned 80 years old last year) which in 2018 opened a landscape park designed by French architect Michel Pena. The recreation area is divided into several themed sections that demonstrate the diversity of the world of plants, from wild flora to cultivated crops.
In the park, you can find secluded spots in the Green Labyrinth, sunbathe in the dedicated sun booths, or stroll along the ponds. Starting from the autumn of 2019, park guests can also walk along the territory of the ancient Sheremetyevskaya oak grove at the level of tree crowns, using an unusual eco-trail in the air. The new bridge is 6 metres tall and gives an unusual perspective on the landscape of the nature reserve. There is nothing like it in Moscow.
The largest park beyond MKAD is well-loved by residents of Yuzhnoye Butovo as well as other districts. One of the main advantages of this recreation zone is convenient access to transportation: metro stations Ulitsa Gorchakova and Buninskaya Alleya are located right in the middle of the landscaped area.
The park offers endless pastime options: you can hide in the shadow of large trees, make a picnic, ride a bike, or spend time by the ponds. Local ponds are surrounded by beautiful embankments and wooden terraces where people come to sunbathe; the dams and bridges have been repaired. In addition, the park has 10 new covered summer houses, stages, and a dance floor. The space has been decorated with numerous pergolas that have benches and even hanging swings underneath.
Children are in for a special treat: the park has 17 playgrounds for kids of different ages (obstacle lines, a wooden house, a music house, and many others). During warm seasons, you can take pictures by the colourful rainbow-theme fountain located in the eastern part of the park.
Another new Moscow's landmark has emerged in the former square on the way to the Bibirevo metro station. It has become a full-on park that looks particularly impressive in the dark.
The main feature of the Park of Light is its unique lighting system. Every night, after sunset, a number of different street lamps light up in the park, while benches, arches, and even trees are illuminated with coloured projectors, like in the Boulevard Ring. The park also has its own 'magical forest': huge figures are twinkling with soft warm light in between the trees — balls, cubes, cylinders, and stars create a dreamlike atmosphere.
Experts have also installed an unusual swing in the central part of the recreation area. When it gets dark, the complex starts to change colours, imitating an aurora.
The park also boasts children's playgrounds, one of which is built on a high slope, and a number of sports areas. Bike lanes run throughout the territory.
The space around the Polytechnic Museum was revived not so long ago, in 2019. The new pedestrian zone has an unusual design: it consists of two levels, and the bottom level is the ground floor of a red brick building. The levels are united by an amphitheatre with illuminated benches.
Both levels of the park are obviously made for pedestrians: the area has a lot of greenery and plenty of recreation spots. The floors of the ground level have electric underfloor heating, and there is a lift for citizens with reduced mobility.
The new space has become a natural part of the long walking route from Lubyanka to Zaryadye Park. Walking in the centre of Moscow has become even more comfortable.
The Victory Park in Zelenograd is an example of how a park built in the Soviet times can be revived and become an important landmark not only for the district but for the entire city. This recreation area has been completely renovated and become modern and trendy, primarily thanks to interesting details. The most notable of them is the wooden alley laid right on the surface of the pond. It is also equipped with stylish sun loungers where you can relax and gaze at the water. The park also has a new footbridge leading to the nearby arboretum which has also been renovated.
The boat station has started working again. Children are welcome at colourful playgrounds with climbing frames, and athletes can use a workout area and a running path with a special coating.
The renovated park looks equally exciting at nighttime. The wooden deck on the water is illuminated with soft white light, which creates the illusion of a moon glade. The large cascade fountain and floating fountains on the pond have multi-coloured illumination. The landscape part of the park has special landscape lighting that is safe for tree crowns.
The size of Moscow's 850th Anniversary Park is very impressive: the green area along the Moskva River stretches next to the southern border of Maryino District. But until recently, this recreation area only attracted local residents who wanted to go for a walk by the water: there was no infrastructure, just old benches and unkempt alleys... In 2018, after the work carried out under the My District programme, the park changed dramatically and has become one of the most interesting recreation spots in the Russian capital.
The area has become even more attractive for long walks with new trees and neat walking paths, a dry fountain, recreation areas on the embankment, and a scenic swing. The park has become especially exciting for sports enthusiasts: it has a roller ski track and rental, the biggest pump track in the city, workout areas, spaces for team games, and tennis courts.
At the same time, the park boasts plenty of cultural attractions. Here you can take photographs with a monument to Hans Christian Andersen (and his characters, Thumbelina and the Ugly Duckling) and a heartwarming complex named 'Kind Angel of Peace'. Students and pupils will enjoy one of the funniest monuments in the city, the Monument to Students' Superstitions. Step into the shoes and throw a coin in the centre: apparently it's supposed to bring good luck during exams.
My Region programme of the Moscow Mayor offers equal development terms for all city districts considering their specifics. The programme takes into account the opinions and needs of residents of specific districts, builds new spaces for recreation, sports, and cultural entertainment, renovates old ones, and creates a convenient urban environment. From now on, a comfortable and modern city is not just about the city centre.
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