Two Russian Capitals – Two Opposite Ways of Development

There are two main cities in Russia – each is the opposite to another. You may feel this difference in each and every element. Moscow is for money – St.Petersburg is for soul. There is a constant carnival, never ending fest in Moscow. Meanwhile, St.Petersburg is calm and sophisticated as an old aristocrat. This difference applies even to the urban development. Moscow made a great leap towards better city environment and people friendliness during last years. It becomes more and more comfortable megalopolis to live in – despite of the crazy population (officially it’s 12.3 mln inhabitants and 15.5 mln including suburbans, indeed – even larger). Unfortunately, St.Petersburg is not that successful. With its 5.3 mln population St.Pete is downgrading. Old, adorable buildings refurbished for the City’s 300 Years Anniversary in 2003 are getting worse and now their facades are in pretty bad conditions. Something similar to what you see in Lisbon or Porto. City authorities do nothing to change the situation – they just play stupid political games (as assigning to the new bridge at suburbans the name of former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov who used to kill Russian soldiers during Chechen war in 1990x, opening memorial plaque to Mannergeim – Finnish Gen., participated in St. Petersburg siege during WWII on the Nazi side…) and don’t care about fading historical center.

I love St.Petersburg indeed and its still the only place where I would like to live in Russia. Moreover, it’s very sad to see what’s going on with this pearl of Russia and the world. Here is a good example – Rubinshteina street located in the historical center, point of attraction for many city inhabitants and tourists with dozens of high-quality bars, restaurants, coffee shops, burger points and many others. Many people prefer to spend here Friday’s nights and weekends. But just look how the city infrastructure is uncomfortable and unfriendly here – cars parked almost at cafe terraces, super narrow pedestrian walks which is critically insufficient for the people wandering the street… Such a potential is just buried. What a mess! Looks preety similar to Moscow 5 years ago…

I am sure – St.Peterburgian should make a wish to receive their local Sobyanin (Mayor of Moscow) next Christmas Eve 🙂

Cars are everywhere. Actually, its an illness of entire downtown.

Worst thing – is that it causes inconvenience not only for pedestrians – but for drivers as well. Last time I’ve driven a car in St.Pete, and my experience was awful. No road markup, not enough signs, chaos and hooligans absolutely ignoring traffic rules…

Definitely, something has to be done with this. At least few key streets should be reconstructed – for example Rubinshteina st. I am showing you right now. Make one lane for driving and prohibit parking on the street. You will easily find an alternative where to park a car or just take a taxi to get here – common, every time you’re going for party, you take a taxi – not driving self car.

Look how beautiful are Moscow streets after such a refurbishment in the heart of downtown. St.Peterburgian streets should be the same.

Neglinnaya st. in Moscow.

Pushechnaya st. in Moscow – another good example.

Malaya Bronnaya st.

Bolshaya Nikitskaya st.

Pyatnitskaya st.

The other story – St.Petersburg embankments which are not using their potential at all comparing to Moscow ones.

St.Petersburg has to be rescued asap! Hope, everybody understands that.