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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Urban Change in Moscow

Stephanie Denning writes about the rapid gentrification of Russian cities and towns, specifically Ostozhenka, Central Moscow. She gives a clear explanation to the dramatic switch Russia faced from communism to capitalism, due to it's independence in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR.
Gentrification is defined as "a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents or businesses and increasing property values".Ostozhenka is a brilliant example of gentrification, where the former underdeveloped area, to one of the most expensive areas to live in the world, at the cheapest one-bedroom apartment being around US$6 million in value. This gentrification all started from Russian independence, and the political and economical idea to establish the 'new' Moscow as a 'global city', like London and New York, meaning that many areas were majorly regenerated, where many of these apartments and homes obtained double-glazing windows and many other modern luxuries.
This new capitalist Russia also gave the chance for some residents of these apartments in Ostozhenka to keep their homes after the fall of communism there. This benefited many residents, as those who could stay, gained an improved standard of living. However, this was not completely 'happy families', as many of the original residents were forced to move to a different area of Moscow, usually to an area of "lower social status" , with very little or no compensation, with many of these resettled residents finding themselves in an unstable building with poor quality foundations.
From this example alone, the process of gentrification seems to bring many improvements for land use; but, on the other hand, does have a few potential side-effects.

Philip Barnes


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