Smart Moscow: The prizes the city has received for digital development in 2020

January 17
Municipal services

The year 2020 was very successful for Moscow in terms of prestigious awards in digital technologies. International recognition and climbing positions in various rankings confirm that today Moscow is among the global leaders in the introduction of advanced electronic solutions and innovations in everyday life.

“Moscow is not just the stable leader in Russia in digitalisation speed but also regularly wins international IT prizes and awards. Over the last 10 years, Moscow has established a well-developed digital ecosystem frequently praised by international experts. We were the first among the world’s megacities to introduce many tech solutions. Today free Wi-Fi is available in the centre of Moscow for people that prefer getting city services online; and just by calling the city contact centre, you can get the information you need from a virtual operator in seconds,” noted Eduard Lysenko, minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the Information Technologies Department.

Second in Smart Sustainable City Awards

The My Moscow app won the silver medal in the Smart Sustainable City Awards sponsored by the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organisation (WeGO) in the Efficient Government category. WeGO identifies city governments that are actively introducing e-governance systems and holds the Smart Sustainable City Awards once every three years.

The My Moscow app has all the most popular services of The app allows users to book doctor’s appointments, pay for their child’s kindergarten and for their utility bills and other services, send in meter readings for water and electricity, check their children’s academic performance and learn city news.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

In the two years since it was launched, My Moscow has been downloaded almost 2 million times. It provides over 120,000 services per week on average.

Main Transport Ticketing Global prize

The Moscow transport system won the main prize in Transport Ticketing Global for the best ticketing system. The capital of Russia competed against nominations from Great Britain, Germany and other countries.

The city’s smart ticket system includes several ways to pay for transit rides, including the most popular: the Troika card (up to 90 percent of all travel). This system has helped decrease waiting lines at ticket windows by 40 percent.

Photo by Yevgeny Samarin,

Troika is available as a card, a key ring, a ring or a bracelet. It was personalised in November 2020: now it can be attached to the user’s account in the My Moscow app, and if the card is lost the remaining balance will be transferred to a new one. Users can also set up auto-replenishment and a pushup when it decreases.

Transport Ticketing Global is the largest international award where transit industry leaders choose the best projects for developing ticketing solutions.

ISOCARP Awards for Excellence

Awards for Excellence from the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) was established in 2005. It recognises the implemented urban and regional planning projects as well as those in development.

In 2020, the award went to the Digital Copy project for high achievements in urban development. Digital Twin is an interactive 3D model of Moscow with buildings, transport and utility systems that allows planning the comprehensive development of the city as well as analysing and evaluating the effectiveness of system designs.

Smart Moscow: the city’s awards for the digital development of 2020 Digital Twin is based on the city’s photogrammetric model and the archive of street panoramas. Visualisation is expanded with detailed descriptions using information modelling technology which makes it possible to consider as many parameters as possible and go through various scenarios when designing city facilities.

Runet Prize

The Moscow Government received the Runet Prize for the system of digital solutions aimed at countering the coronavirus pandemic in the Technologies vs Coronavirus category.

The digital infrastructure created in Moscow over the last few years made it possible to implement a range of technical capabilities that have been helping limit the spread of COVID-19. During the acute phase of the pandemic, e-services made it possible for people to interact with city services, for businesspeople to continue working and for schoolchildren to study. Moreover, in 2020 a project was launched that provided access to personal online medical records with test results, including coronavirus test results, and other important information.

The front office for entrepreneurs established in April 2020 was recognised as one of the best in the Government and Society category. This platform allows businesses to get updates on subsidies and required documents as well as apply for incentives from Moscow’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development.

The Moscow Innovation Cluster platform won another prize in the Economy and Business category. During the pandemic, it opened as a one-stop-shop service for interaction between the authorities and business.

The Runet Prize is a national high-tech and internet award and  it was presented in 2020 for the 17th time.

International DADI awards finals

The Drum Awards for Digital Industries are held annually by The Drum, marketing media, for developers of the most effective digital strategies and products. In 2020, Moscow’s six online projects went to the finals at the same time. helps people use the latest city services as well as learn the latest news about life in Moscow. The most popular services can be found in the My Moscow app.


Moscow’s investment website is one of the main specialised resources for businesses used by over 8,000 users daily.

Active Citizen is a project with no equivalent in the world. It was launched in 2014 to provide simple and convenient communication between people and the city on various issues of city management.

Users of can suggest ideas to develop the city. In the six years since its launch, citizens have co-created such projects as My Park, E-House, Children’s Polyclinics and Moscow Longevity among many others.

Another project, Mosecomonitoring, helps people to monitor the conditions and quality of the air in their district in real time.

Smart city technologies competition finals

The competition held by the Smart Cities Council (US) went international for the first time in 2020. Entrants shared the best practices of urban development and the use of digital technologies.

In the finals, Moscow was represented by such projects as, Mosecomonitoring and Active Citizen. Moscow competed against Colorado Springs (US), Morrisville (US), Nashville (US), Omaha (US), Orange County (US), Palmdale (US), Philadelphia (US), Brisbane (Australia) and Santa Catalina (Mexico). The results will be announced in January 2021.

First place in the Ministry of Economic Development’s rankings

Moscow took first place among Russian regions according to the quality of state and municipal services provided online in 2019.

Experts evaluated the quality of e-services at in several categories: access to full and updated information on the ease of receiving the services, filing applications quickly online, updates on the status of an application’s review process, and booking a meeting at city services agencies among others.

“Since 2010, the Moscow Government has been working to digitalise property and land services. Today 23 of 35 state services are provided online. Another 12 can only be obtained on paper for now, but soon they will also be available online: all the necessary preparations have been carried out,” said Maxim Gaman, minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the City Property Department.

Moscow is followed by the Moscow adjacent areas and Rostov Region.

Leader in the IQ cities rankings

In December 2020, Moscow once again topped the IQ Cities index for urban economy digitalisation among Russian regions. The capital was the first among 203 cities. Leaders among cities with one million + population were also  Yekaterinburg, Kazan, St Petersburg and Voronezh.

Moscow received 89.65 points out of 120, thus improving last year’s results by seven percent, while the average IQ index for cities was 40.67 points.

The index, developed by the Russian Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities, is a transparent tool to evaluate the effectiveness of digitalising the urban development of key industries. The capital has been systematically introducing technologies to the urban economy and social sphere and developing IT infrastructure, and thus receiving more points.

Photo by Yevgeny Samarin,

Top 20 tech cities in Europe

Moscow has made to the top 20 of the most prospective European cities for investing in technology, innovation and startups. According to the Tech Cities of the Future rankings from fDi Intelligence (Great Britain) and TNW (The Next Week) that publishes articles on technologies and innovations, Moscow ranks 18th, between Reading and Helsinki. London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and Berlin made the top five.

The 76 European cities in the rankings were evaluated based on the attraction of capitals, qualified people and the development of the infrastructure. The experts especially praised the capabilities of the Moscow startup ecosystem represented by the Moscow Innovation Cluster, Moscow Accelerator and the project to pilot-test innovations on city platforms among other support measures.

Tholons Services Globalization Index top 20

Moscow is 18th in the Tholons Services Globalization Index on the digital transformation of cities.

Cities were assessed based on a number of indicators: human capital, development of the business environment, costs and infrastructure, safety and quality of life, as well as digitalisation and innovation. The last category is the most important in determining the final place in the ranking. According to this ranking, Moscow has increased its indicators 1.5 times compared to last year.

The Tholons Services Globalization Index has been published since 2017. Moscow has jumped up 20 points compared with the first ranking.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

Top 100 of the world’s leading innovative clusters

Moscow is ranked 32nd by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation in partnership with Cornell University and the French business school Insead. Its authors analyse the number of patent applications and the number of scientific publications reflected in the databases of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the Web of Science. Moscow has 2,060 patents and 58,153 publications there. In particular, the Russian capital overtook Stockholm, Melbourne, Toronto and Zurich in the rankings.

The Moscow Innovation Cluster launched in 2018 and now uniting over 17,000 organisations from Moscow and other regions is the nucleus of an ecosystem that introduces advanced technologies in the capital. Most of these organisations are small and medium-sized businesses that can find partners, consumers and production and test platforms at the platform as well as receive updates on the city’s support measures.


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