The first ever "City: Details" exhibition-presentation is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of Moscow"s streets, playgrounds, parks, and recreational areas.

From 3 to 5 October, VDNH"s largest pavilion, No. 75, will host a mini-city with all the corresponding components, from benches, rubbish bins, and streetlamps to bus stops, sporting pitches, and playgrounds. And they won"t be just booths and exhibits. The entire pavilion will be divided into recognizable areas: streets, public gardens, a city square, amphitheatre, children"s playground, and sporting venue. The highlight of the city detail exhibition will be the night-time city area with its magical streetlamps and light tunnels. Visitors will be invited to experience most of the facilities hands-on and cast their vote for the best.

Important: by voting for your favourite items, you help create a catalogue of solutions to guide our municipal services in the future.

The "City: Details" exhibition is also a place for families to come and spend an interesting day together. There is something for everyone, including fascinating master classes, flash mob dances, immersive theater, a musical light show, and so much more. The exhibition grounds will feature multiple food courts with spacious areas for hanging out and relaxing.

"City: Details" is an important part of the My Region programme. The project"s ultimate goal is to set up a convenient, comfortable urban space in every Moscow district.

Important: admission to the exhibition is free, but prior registration is required (go to the registration form)


Beauty is in the Detail: How to Make City Streets Attractive Again

It is universally acknowledged that cities have not always been convenient to live in. “Pedestrians in the big city lead a martyr’s life,” Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov complained in The Golden Calf, adding that you have to love pedestrians because they make up the best part of humanity.

And just a hundred years later, it has finally happened. The urbanist boom in Europe and America has manifested itself in two main phenomena. First, highways have vanished from within the city limits and have been replaced by public transport; pedestrian zones have emerged. Second, metropolises have started developing new landmarks: for instance, boulevards in Barcelona or the Highline linear park in New York. Diller + Scofidio + Renfro created the park right where an abandoned railway used to be, transforming a depressed neighbourhood into an attractive space with good views.

In Russia, the process was launched in 2010 when we assumed the European approach to urban transformation.

What makes a good urban space? Essentially, we are concerned with only five components: communication, safety, physical comfort, cleanliness, and protection against the elements and bad ecology. Communication is provided by benches and everything that can be leaned against. Safety is provided by street-lights and other types of lighting. Physical comfort comes from having a barrier behind your back. Trees give protection against sunshine, wind and noise. Additionally, these details structure the urban space visually, which, in turn, satisfies our need for order.

Allan Jacobs formulated several basic rules that can make a street attractive or, on the contrary, destroy its appeal. For instance, in terms of proportions, if you can make out a person’s face from across the street, that street is perfect. That is, the famous Parisian extra-wide Avenue des Champs Elysées is not perfect! Here, however, details come to your aid: trees, pavements, street markings, paving, street furniture. Rows of shaped trees on the Champs Elysées essentially divide it up into three streets: two side boulevards and the central thoroughfare. An average pedestrian's mind works such that, if they are separated from cars by a barrier of trees or something else that protects them from dust and noise, pedestrians do not see the road. They feel comfortable. This applies to Moscow’s Garden Ring.

The main thing happened to the pavements: they were expanded for pedestrians, paved, and trees were planted. The results were immediate: cafés and shops sprang up on the ground floors that previously had dusty walls and boarded-up windows.

Triumfalnaya Square is another interesting Moscow case. From a chaotic area, it has been transformed into a pleasant public space. This was achieved by using strategically placed swings, planters with grasses, wooden benches, coffee pavilions and trees. Now there are places to sit down, things to do, the noisy tunnel seems invisible and the square has been transformed from a transit space into a place to spend some time to rest or meet people.

But this is not all. Now comes the periphery’s turn, and more inventiveness is required there. Historical city centres are rich in historical architectural details, while the urban periphery it is not. Residential neighbourhoods lack streets with public ground floors and façades. People do not go for a stroll there. The main street in a peripheral neighbourhood can serve as a traffic thoroughfare, it can accommodate retail centres and outpatient clinics. How do you make this street an attractive space where people want to linger rather than just a transit route that people pass quickly along? Here, details are required.

In 2013, the Meganom architectural bureau and students from the Moscow Institute of Architecture conducted an Archaeology of the Periphery research and, two years later, they developed the “Streetyard” project. This is intended to discover, together with local residents, pedestrian routes and points of attraction, and to design the space between them using street-lights, way-finding signs and colourful paving. Other means can be used: household items, home-made street furniture, flowerbeds planted by local residents and other details. If the crowd flow is sufficient, this framework is filled out with fruit kiosks and pavilions with small cafés, sports grounds, dog parks and playgrounds featuring art installations.

The main purpose is to “domesticate” neighbourhoods and minimize fringe areas. Clearly, local residents will not be able to do everything on their own, without help from the city authorities. Yet, under such a plan, local residents and municipal authorities can work and create together to fill the neighbourhood with details and to improve it.

Lara Kopylova, architecture critic

Read more


Thematic exhibition areas:

  • City Square
  • Amphitheatre
  • Public Garden
  • Playground
  • Sporting Facilities
  • Street
  • Night-Time City

City Square

A place for people of all ages to come together, socialize, relax, and enjoy life. The exhibition’s main attraction. Cultural events and an animation programme are held here; equipped areas for hanging out and relaxing. The square is decorated with objects of modern urban art from Russia and Europe’s best artists. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite! A food court is located near the ‘City Square’.


Next to the ‘City Square’ is an amphitheatre with a large stage and summer cinema hosting business and cultural programme events, and during breaks, exhibition visitors can simply relax, take in a My Region film about Moscow broadcast on a video wall, chat with others, and vote for their favourite amphitheatre area exhibition facilities.

Public Garden

An area for hanging out and relaxing, the public garden is geared mainly towards middle-aged and elderly people. The garden features leisure areas for relaxing, gazebos, benches, tables for board games, an eco-trail, and one of the exhibition’s food courts.


Everything you could possibly need for active games, sports, and creativity: children’s play equipment from innovative safe eco-materials, unique children’s sports complexes, and comfortable places to relax. The playground is divided into two areas: one for babies from 3 to 5 years old and another for older children from 6 to 12 years old. The Children’s Playground animation programme includes creative master classes and active educational games.

Sporting Facilities

The place for active lifestyle enthusiasts, with the latest equipment for outdoor sports, unique street work-out equipment, playgrounds for active games, equipment for calisthenics, and so much more; classes are held in various sports under the guidance of professional instructors, and sports animation. All of the exhibition items are there to be tested and evaluated, with votes cast for favourites.


The Street area features elements of road transport infrastructure, navigation systems, traffic restrictions, “smart” stops, bicycle parking, and so much more. Exhibition visitors are invited to vote for the elements they would like to see in their own districts.

Night-Time City

The exhibition’s most striking thematic area is the darkened Night-Time City, which features unique luminous art objects created by leading domestic and foreign designers, amazing light shows, and primary and additional lighting systems for visitors to vote on. The entire Night-Time City venue is traversed by a light tunnel that guests can take as part of this magical show.

How to find your way round the exhibition

The area is an impressive 14,000 square metres, but we have done everything to make navigation convenient. Each area is equipped with interactive information stands, helping you find out quickly where you are, how to get to any point of the exhibition, and who is presenting the exhibits.

Event Programme

How does the life of a neighborhood change when an unusual piece of art appears in one of its squares? Is it true that the level of safety in the city depends directly on how well it is lit?

How to connect the residents of a new building and create a community by means of children’s and sports grounds? What is the impact of a district’s improvement on the wellbeing of its residents? Why does real estate grow in value when business class residential complexes appear in the area?

Participants in the business programme of the First Exhibition-Presentation “City: Details” will share many interesting studies, ideas and cases on how to create a comfortable urban environment.

The speakers are leading Western and Russian architects, landscape designers, developers, street furniture designers, manufacturers of small architectural forms and representatives of the city administration.

Business programme

Special session of the business program "City: details"

12.30 - 14.00

Great value small architectural forms: the details create an environment for the development of human capital

Sergei Kapkov, head of the educational and research laboratory “Center for the Study of the Economics of Culture, Urban Development and Creative Industries” at the Faculty of Economics of Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosov since 2015
Yelena Zelentsova, Head of the Territorial Development Department, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Alexei Belyayev, Prefect of the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow
Igor Shulinsky, publisher of "Moskvich Mag»
Business programme

Panel 1.

13.00 - 12.10

«Art in the Urban Environment»

Forming new dominant areas by installing pieces of art in squares and parks. Changing social habits and aspirations. Creating new zones with investment appeal around locations with pieces of art.

Moderator of the panel is Vladimir Kuzmin, архитектор-дизайнер, руководитель проектной группы "Поле-дизайн", Доцент МАрхИ, преподаватель РАНХиГС и Марш.

Speakers to be confirmed.

Semenkova Elena, Deputy head of the Department of architectural and artistic appearance of the city of Moscow
Peter Fink, urbanist, landscape architect, London
Smadar Efrati, Associate at HQ Architects
Yekaterina Ozhegova, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Moscow Architectural Institute
Kirill Gubernatorov, architect, Megabudka, Moscow
Andrei Yarkov, Punto Design, Moscow
Leonid Tkhorzhevsky, Vostok Industry
Aiste Aliukoniene, Sales Director, UNO Parks, Lithuania
Business Programme

Panel 2.

12.30 - 14.30

«Small Architectural Forms and Forging a Community of Good Neighbours»

Organisation of children’s playgrounds contributes to the health and good habits of future citizens and helps foster a community of parents. Installation of comfortable benches and arrangement of courtyard spaces helps improve the health of pensioners and ensure a good-neighbourly spirit.

Session moderator is Yulia Shishalova, Editor-in-Chief of Project Russia magazine.

Speakers to be confirmed.

Kudryavtsev Petr, urbanist, sociologist, partner of Citymakers
Dmitry Burov, General Director, MAF Market, Moscow
Мария Соколова - Доцент, кандидат психологических наук, старший научный сотрудник МГППУ, психолог-методист AFA
Mikhail Belyakov, Founder, Noor Architects, Moscow
Maria Pomelova, Chief Architect, Chekharda, Moscow
Bella Filatova, Co-Founder, Druzhba
Inna Legrand, Prourba, France
Roman Khramov, A representative of the company New Horizons
Natalya Loginova, Deputy General Director, Aira, Russia
Business programme

Panel 3.

14.45 — 17.00

«My Favourite Neighbourhood. Private and Public»

Shaping a positive environment for the district. Improving the quality of life by reorientating the environmental design towards the local residents. Areas of residential complexes in the overall picture of the districts.

Moderator of the panel is Yelena Zelentsova, Head of the Territorial Development Department, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

Speakers to be confirmed.

Filippo Imberti, architect, TSPA, Berlin
Alexei Belyayev, Prefect of the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow
Alexander Adaikin, Deputy Head of the Department of Capital Repairs of Moscow
Alexander Trukhan, landscape architect, ARTEZA, Moscow
Sergei Chisty, City Without Barriers Foundation
Pavel Bryzgalov, Director for Strategic Development, FSK Lider
Dmitry Tsvetov, Director for Marketing and Product Development, A101 Group
Sergei Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow
Марина Любельская - первый заместитель генерального директора концерна «Крост», Москва

The exhibition will also host the "Small Architectural Forms" design competition in three categories: an art installation, playground, and street furniture.