Sergei Sobyanin: A modern city cannot exist without digital technologies

May 27

Information technologies have become the most important part of any area of management and any urban industry, Sergei Sobyanin said speaking at the plenary session of the Smart Cities Moscow forum. According to him, Moscow has a very advanced information platform and is ready to implement various services.

“Managing such a city without modern information technologies today is not only inefficiently — it is simply impossible. If we talked a few years ago about whether information technologies are good in managing the city or not, today that’s our life,” the Moscow Mayor said.

He told that the task of the city was to implement large human centric programs that cover all spheres of life. “The digitalization of all city services - city services, educational services, healthcare services, transport, security, utilities - was aimed primarily at communicating with residents, helping people and efficiently using those resources being at the disposal of the Moscow Government”, — Sergei Sobyanin said.

The online platforms created by the Moscow Government have become centers of communication with the urban community, in which the main city services are concentrated. “Instead of hundreds of different platforms and services in Moscow, following the example of other world cities, we have created a single city platform, which provides 380 electronic services. We provide 400 million services per year through this platform. Moreover, even today 200 electronic and city services are provided exclusively in electronic form,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

The platforms enable the Moscow Government to interact with citizens, and residents to control everything that happens in the capital. The “Our City” service has become the platform thereof. “Some time ago we created this service, which brought 1.7 million Moscow residents to our side: they help to manage the city, control everything that happens in it. And this, of course, is a huge support. “Our City” already covers over 90 percent of all life situations that happen in the capital. We started with the simplest ones, today this service is such a comprehensive system,” the Moscow Mayor said.

In addition, Moscow residents can not only control, but also propose solutions, participate in the city development. “The Crowdsourcing platform", Active Citizen platform enable to make thousands of big and small decisions literally in a matter of days, actively collecting proposals and being guided in the future by the opinion of the citizens”, Sergei Sobyanin said.

Moscow is constantly growing — about a million new residents are added here every 10 years. In order to predict how the city will develop, its digital twin was created. “The 3D map of the entire city view is constantly updated, almost quarterly. It enables to make balanced urban planning decisions, to combine various services of transport, utilities and construction in order to make certain projects more perfect, convenient, efficient, including control over the entire territory of the city,” Sergei Sobyanin explained.

The new service has recently started operating for residents of apartment buildings. “Electronic House” enables to solve many issues together with neighbors. “Until now, in order to convene a meeting of residents, vote, solve elementary issues related to the management company, house cleaning, major repairs, utility bills etc., it was an extraordinary story. It is almost impossible to gather the majority of the owners and tenants of a huge house on one site in a modern city,” the Moscow Mayor said, adding that the new service enables receiving most of the city services and effectively manage own property.

According to Sergei Sobyanin, the main problem of big cities is transport. In Moscow, about 10 million people use public transport every day, and hundreds of thousands of cars drive onto the roads. “Moscow traffic jams have always been number one in the world. This can be overcome not only by construction of roads, metro, railways, but, surely, by an intelligent transport system, the effect of which is comparable today with capital construction,” the Moscow Mayor said.

Transport services are also important, using which the residents pay for travel or parking. The parking payment system in Moscow is one of the most modern in the world, and the Troika card is gradually becoming the main component of the all-Russian payment system.

Another important element of life in big cities is safety. “The global video surveillance system in Moscow covers almost all buildings, entrances, schools, most of the city streets. Since last year, the face recognition function has been connected to the video surveillance system,” the Moscow Mayor said.

The system can identify people who are on the wanted list: in a matter of months, it has detected thousands of criminals. Owing to information technology and a video surveillance system, the number of burglaries has decreased 14 times over 10 years.

The information technologies today also solve urban issues - they coordinate the work of thousands of people, as well as machines that serve the capital. “In order to control this huge mass of people and equipment, the entire system of municipal services is provided with the GLONASS space video surveillance system and is docked with intelligent control systems for the operation of transport, including removal of household waste,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

Moscow doctors also have their own digital assistants. Today, all polyclinics of the city have the artificial intelligence helping them - it suggests a diagnosis, forms a list of necessary studies, proposes a therapy scheme and checks the compatibility of drugs. The patients can make an appointment online, receive prescriptions, sick leaves and test results. These and other technologies have helped Moscow to withstand the blow of the pandemic.

“Moscow not only provided the medical component, the laboratory component of the fight against the pandemic, but also preserved normal life in the city. Because not only medicine is important, the economy and politics, the psychological and social well-being of citizens are important,” Sergei Sobyanin emphasized, adding that without this foundation it would not have been possible to effectively fight the pandemic.

Today, on the basis of medical services, a single digital platform has been created for managing patients with COVID-19. “No patient who has got a diagnosis using an extensive laboratory system is left alone with the disease. The telemedicine center experts support him/her: prescribe drugs, control their delivery, treatment, timely diagnosis in case of deterioration, hospitalization, etc.”, the Moscow Mayor explained.

For efficient interaction in the field of technology, the city created the platform of the Moscow Innovation Cluster “When we talk about innovation in technology or digitalization, we are talking about individual laboratories, individual inventors. Today Moscow is an innovation cluster as a whole, - summed up the Moscow Mayor. - In order for tens of thousands of participants and partners to interact with each other, we have created a digital platform for the development of innovations - Using it one can find partners, interact with each other.”

During the conversation, WCCD President Patricia McCartney presented Moscow with ISO certificates. Sergei Sobyanin thanked her for the recognition. “Your assessment, your vision are very important for us - because inside ourselves, in the urban community, of course, we understand what is happening in Moscow, but the outside view of those processes, comparable analysis with other megacities, leading cities is very, very important in order to understand at what stage of development we are,” the Moscow Mayor said.

The Smart Cities Moscow Forum takes place online on May 25 and 26. Its Smart Cities Moscow sessions are dedicated to the introduction of new technologies, accelerating the adaptation of digital technologies, standardization and accounting for development levels, digital platforms, as well as attracting private companies to city management.

“I hope that such a forum will be annual, so that at it we share our knowledge, impressions, and experience. Exchange of knowledge in the digital economy is extremely important for the future of our cities and the future of our countries,” Sergei Sobyanin said. He thanked everyone who responded to the invitation of the Russian capital.

“Everything that we know, all our experience, it is absolutely open. In general, we believe that one of Moscow missions is to be, not so much as an experimental, but an advanced platform in all technologies, using its enormous potential and be open to other regions, cities and countries. And we, working with my colleagues around the world, see the same openness and desire to interact,” Moscow Mayor added.

The forum speakers included WCCD CEO Patricia McCartney, Director of Smart City Solutions for Microsoft Western Europe Jose Antonio Ondiviela Garcia, Director of the Cybersecurity Center of New York University Hoda Al-Hzaimi, Yandex.Cloud COO Oleg Koverznev, Vice President of Rostelecom Boris Glazkov, as well as other international experts in the field of informatization and development of smart cities.

The Smart Cities Moscow business program includes three main online broadcasts with the topics “Smart City Infrastructure and Technologies”, “Smart City for Life” and “Sustainable Development of a Smart City”.


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