Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tall buildings, wide streets, and where have all the Ladas gone?

Now this is a building that could be called The Twist
The reason for my trips to Moscow is to participate on the jury for a new International Financial Centre in Moscow, to be developed on a 1000 acre site on the outskirts of the city.

During my last trip, Timur Ryvkin of the Colliers Moscow office took me to an area in the city's downtown where another financial district is under construction. It includes a number of 'look at me' buildings at various stages of completion, along with an underground shopping mall, Novotel Hotel and other buildings.

My very knowledgeable guide, Timur Ryvkin of Colliers' Moscow office
One of the justifications for a new financial centre outside of the downtown is that the inner circle of Moscow is extremely congested. It is not uncommon for the traffic to become completely snarled, despite the fact that the city has some very wide wide that they can only be crossed by underground passages.

While some streets do have wide sidewalks lined with shops, and there are a limited number of pedestrian malls, this is not a pedestrian friendly city.

One of the goals of the new financial centre is to create a community that is much more pedestrian and transit oriented.  Now speaking of cars...

I always associated Russia with Ladas. However, I was in Moscow for two days before I saw my first Lada. Instead what I saw were Porsche Cayennes, Range Rovers, BMW's and even a few Rolls Royces and Bentleys. I even came across a Rolls dealership in the lobby of a hotel...the Radisson Royal Hotel.
The Rolls dealership in the Radisson Royal Hotel

In the winter the cars get extremely dirty. Or in the case of this Range Rover, they catch fire!
At the end of a day touring about the city I was treated to a very nice tea in the lobby of the Metropol Hotel.                                   No, I didn't eat the whole thing!

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