Ideas for the Metropolitan City: How the project works

October 24
Social sector

What is Moscow crowdsourcing?

The Moscow Government’s crowdsourcing project is an information technology available to the public for suggesting ideas to the city, to comment and discuss categories for projects and vote for ideas selected by the city’s experts.

The platform was launched to collect ideas in 2014 and the crowdsourcing section appeared in the application for another city project — Active Citizen in 2019.

During the platform’s life over 200,000 Muscovites have taken part in 27 projects and have suggested more than 100,000 ideas. Some of the proposals that received the greatest public support have already been carried out in the city while others are scheduled for implementation.

How are crowdsourcing projects implemented?

The Moscow government’s crowdsourcing projects are organised into three stages. The first is called “Suggest.” At this stage, registered users submit ideas for improving life in the city. Experts choose those that conform to an announced category.

The second stage, “Discuss,” is for Muscovites to talk about the categories linked with the project. During the third stage, “Assess,” users can vote for the best ideas that were chosen by the city’s experts. The ideas that receive the most support are usually implemented.

Is it possible to suggest an idea any time?

Categorised projects are limited in time, but has a permanent section, where any resident can suggest an idea on improving the urban infrastructure at any time. The section contains six areas for collecting ideas from the public: the social sphere, traffic organisation, park improvements, courtyards and pedestrian areas, and common urban spaces.

What ideas have already been carried out?

Muscovites have had input on 27 projects, including Children’s Outpatient Clinics, Active Longevity (2016 project to start Moscow Longevity), Moscow Libraries, My Government Services Office, Cultural Centres: The Future, Moscow Museums, E-House, My Park, Wild Animals in the City, Our Routes and Our City, to name a few.

Due to the platform, Moscow now has nine new bus routes.

The Moscow Environmental Strategy project has brought about expanded pavements in the city centre, where trees and plants were planted. In addition, people wanted to reduce traffic congestion by preventing parking on narrow roads and introduce single-lane traffic whenever necessary.

Ю. Иванко.

After crowdsourcing, children’s outpatient clinics created play zones to keep children busy. Staff at the My Documents government services offices began to meet visitors in uniforms. Free Wi-Fi was introduced and applicants began to receive SMS and email messages telling them that their documents were ready.

In early 2020, Muscovites suggested ideas for the Moscow Central Diameters (MCDs) railway lines. This is a new type of transport for Moscow; it is basically rail lines being used like a surface metro. Crowdsourcing users suggested vending machines in MCD trains and rubbish cans on platforms. Other ideas include allocating space for creative street artists in MCD underpasses and e-libraries at MCD stations. And bike-share services will be located next to the stations.

Ю. Иванко.

Who can take part in the project?

Any resident of Moscow may take part in a crowdsourcing project. Every voice will be heard and the best ideas carried out.

How does urban crowdsourcing work in different countries?

Many cities use crowdsourcing to collect the opinions and ideas of their residents. Barcelona has the D-cent: Decidim.Barcelona platform that allows its residents to suggest ideas to the city, comment on the ideas of others and vote on various proposals. The opinions of Londoners are collected on the Talk London website, while residents of Reykjavik send their proposals to the D-cent: Betri Reykjavik service. Every month, the best five ideas are reviewed by a special committee. In addition, the city regularly considers ideas with the highest ratings.

Crowdsourcing also works on a larger scale. The Debating Europe platform was launched for EU residents. They can ask questions that will be forwarded to EU leaders. The Estonian website makes it possible to compile collective comments that are transferred to the parliament. People in Latvia can express their initiatives on the website. Those that collect the biggest number of signatures are sent to the Latvian Saeima.


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