Seen as an obstacle for urban planners and developers, industrial areas often remained undeveloped. In the 2000s, a modern approach to the development of industrial estates took shape when the Moscow Government made its first attempts at gentrification. However, it was not until the adoption of law No. 373-FZ in 2017 that Moscow developed a more structured approach to their gentrification.
"There are 196 industrial zones in the capital, occupying almost a fifth of Moscow's total landmass – with many in decline or abandoned. To improve effective use of land and provide a new impetus for its redevelopment, the city authorities use an integrated, sustainable approach to land development. To this end, they have prepared 107 projects for the integrated development of 1900 hectares of land," said Alexander Prokhorov, head of the Department of Investment and Industrial Policy of Moscow. "The main purpose of industrial redevelopment efforts is to create places where people can comfortably live and work, complete with schools, clinics, kindergartens, parks, housing, and high tech and environmentally friendly industries. Our department's role in all of this is to preserve the area's industrial potential, jobs and taxable revenues, as well as to attract investment. Hence, it makes little sense to build up empty territories with only residential housing. It's very important to understand that the current form of industrial estates has lost its relevance and needs to be transformed to fit in with the realities of the modern metropolis."
Meanwhile, new realities mean a thrifty use of these territories, environmentally friendly practices, and proximity to high tech businesses, R&D centers, residences and recreation areas. It also means transport accessibility, tourist and investment attractiveness, and opportunities for small business growth. However, we should not forget the historical significance of such territories — their unique characters and original purpose — which helped build the foundations of the global economic powerhouse. Otherwise, such redevelopment may transform former manufacturing jewels into indistinguishable spaces with identical brick walls and trendy craft cafes.