The journalist Pavel Pryanikov asked the reason for the discussion on this topic in his blog a rather provocative post:
“Moscow liberal sanitary-despotic urbanites see Moscow like this in the coming months and years: Director of the Strelka Institute Varvara Melnikova - Moscow in the post-pandemic era is primarily a pedestrian city. It will have to provide an opportunity to recover from the stress that we are all in now. People will spend more time in parks.
Moscow Chief Architect Sergei Kuznetsov: a pandemic will increase the demand for people in the city, which allows you to lead a healthy lifestyle and play sports outdoors. I believe that we only need to speed up and do more of what we have in mind: running routes, bike paths, walking areas - wide promenades and sidewalks. This will be a trend further, because pedestrian traffic is a priority over automobile traffic. The number of cars will soon stop growing, people will increasingly begin to prefer public transport or car sharing. The peak of motorization has passed, we are ill with the disease that the car is a sign of prosperity".
What city do these people live in? They don’t understand that after this epidemic everything will be exactly the opposite of what they are talking about? The demand for a personal car will increase, because now it is not only a means of transportation, but also a sanitary fortress. Fear of contacts with people - especially young ones, because these are walking asymptomatic bioterrorists - will only grow. What kind of sports on the street, from whom? Most Muscovites will now be immersed in survival.
Well and more. What are the parks that you grind? You live in Moscow, do you know how much warm season there is in our city in which you can wander in the park? For this year you see - a maximum of 4 months a year (of which a third of the time it can rain). And I also hope that this woman, the head of Strelka, as well as the chief architect of Moscow, are already cycling to work, including in winter? I hope that Sergei Semenovich, after the pandemic, will change to great, and then he will switch to the turnstiles in the park? Enough of the hypocrite, start to live your own life the way you advocate for all Muscovites!”.
Of course, the author found many like-minded people who reacted to this passionate post:
- These are Western books (Danish and Dutch authors, for the most part) have read about all sorts of urban communities and hipster urbanism, sitting in a convenient office on Red October. (Or where do they usually sit there?)
- Pedestrian traffic, given the distance and the length of the minus period, is a priority over the car? Does this audience live in Moscow? About family with children, I generally keep quiet: the city for child-free.
- I have been dreaming for a long time, and always ask, well, when will we be morons, our valiant authorities will set an example. It’s great, from running in the winter on a tile, but with pleasure, but gentlemen are with you. Invite, set an example!
However, as expected, there were opponents of this point of view, whose logic is also very convincing:
- That is why stadiums are built up with mortgage housing, and parks are cut down under various pretexts - from a new roundabout to bicycle paths...
- I agree with the thesis about increasing the request for personal transport, but regarding parks you, Pavel, are wrong. In the parks you can walk all year round. Engage in outdoor vaulting, ride a bike, run - almost all year round. Before coronavirus hysteria, I often walked in the park and saw there, both in winter and summer, a lot of cyclists, and runners, and muscle-swinging patrons of sports grounds, not to mention amateur football players or, say, volleyball players. The city is intended for both athletes and non-athletes, for pedestrians and motorists, for people of all ages, of any gender, nationality, attitude to religion or complexion. Therefore, I do not support either urban extremism or you - you are at the other extreme. In general, it is better to live in a village. A city with multi-story residential development is too vulnerable to epidemics.
- Russians fiercely urge parks to be paved, narrow pedestrians, build noisy, dirty highways, erect sarcophagi of shopping malls. After all, we have the same winter! There is neither April, nor May, nor June, nor July, nor August, nor September! Yes, and from October to March, of course, it is contraindicated to walk, you have to stay at home, and occasionally get out on a motor casket in Auchan, once a week, standing for 4 hours in traffic. This is life! It’s good that it’s not you who rules Moscow.
Can not argue with that!