World Economy

Moscow Property Boom Sparks Local Ire

Moscow Property Boom Sparks Local IreMoscow Property Boom Sparks Local Ire

Property developers are racing to build up prime land in Moscow’s leafy outskirts with plans that involve razing entire villages and felling acres of forest. Now determined locals are fighting back to stop the developers in their tracks and preserve the environment, local heritage and their homes and with some success, such as in the village of Vostochnaya Perlovka, northeast of the capital.

Local authorities announced a plan to demolish all of its 600 houses to allow a property developer to build high-rise blocks there, increasing the population to 25,000 people. Horrified at the prospect of losing their beloved homes, the residents immediately teamed up to campaign against the demolition, AFP reported.

“If the project goes through, the population density of this area will be more than 13,000 people per square kilometer—more than twice that of Hong Kong,” which has close to 6,800 people per square kilometer, said Andrei Yumashev, a lawyer who represents the residents.

He urged the property company, at the very least, to discuss the details of its plans for Vostochnaya Perlovka with locals.

With an already bulging population of at least 12 million, Moscow is a magnet for the upwardly mobile from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union. But commuting to central Moscow for work while living in the surrounding region is a more affordable option for most.

Just six kilometers from Vostochnaya Perlovka, residents of another small settlement called Stroitel, or Builder, are fighting the felling of 255 acres of forest, known as Chelyuskinsky Wood, for house building.

Residents accuse the local authorities of illegally selling the forest to a Moscow property developer called Novaya Zemlya, which wants to build a new district with 20,000 inhabitants.


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