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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

MOSCOW PARKS: BETWEEN NATURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

P. 535-542.
Ishkhanova K., Miksyuk A. A.

This article serves as a contribution to better understanding of what is a modern Russian park for various stakeholders, how it is integrated into the urban ecosystem and what are the priorities for development of the parks.

The article presents the results of a two-year study of 14 Parks of Culture and Leisure in Moscow, which was held both in summer and winter. In this research parks was considered in terms of their cultural, social and recreational functions from a position of ecosystem services. The study is based on objective expert assessments of parks by 10 blocks considering 50 criteria. Important criteria in this survey are clean and well maintained, sustainability, conservation and heritage, healthy, safe and secure environment, access for disabled and others. As well as on subjective surveys of visitors who was able to get a mark for parks by some criterias like available and quality of infrastructure. More than 2,500 residents and guests of Moscow were involved in this project as respondents.The results indicate that modern Moscow parks focused primarily on commercial benefits, and not on the end-user - the visitor. Despite the fact that the quality of the infrastructure in many parks improved during the study, the number of services and goods which parks offer their customers in fact not necessary for them.Active urban growth had been inevitably accompanied by the rise of environmental problems affecting public health. In the park there are a lot of amusements, cafes, shops and other facilities of commercial purpose. Conservation of natural environment elements is now more complicated and expensive. "Urbanized" spaces take place of "Nature" in modern urban parks. Nowadays, parks are not only a part of landscape architecture, but also considered in various disciplines like biology, ecology, geography, sociology and economics. International research experience shows that successful development of parks requires the permanent monitoring of consumer opinion, which in Russian practice is hardly used.