Voronezh Mayor Vadim Kstenin stated that the number of cars in today’s cities must be decreased. According to the Head of the City, the authorities must prioritize the comfortability of pedestrians and the creation of a high-quality system of public transport. Vadim Kstenin voiced this opinion at the 45th Interregional Specialized forum “Construction. Housing and Public Utilities” on Friday, October 26.

The Voronezh Mayor shared his thoughts on the necessity of changing the approach to implementing road traffic. It requires multiple measures – from speed limiting to the creation of bus bulbs.

– My opinion is this: no matter how many roads and road junctions we build, the number of cars will keep growing, and it will not lead to increasing the convenience level of the city residents in general. On the contrary, decreasing the vehicle-to-population ratio and creating a high-quality system of public transport, increasing the quality of pedestrian connections, developing a barrier-less and safe traveling environment, developing the cycling infrastructure and public spaces – these are the factors that form a real “smart city”, - Vadim Kstenin said.

The Voronezh Mayor took part in the plenary session named “From a Smart House – To a Smart Region”. At the session, there was a discussion of the implementation of digital technologies in the development of public spaces. When speaking of the Voronezh experience, Vadim Kstenin stressed that it was important to set the priorities right. Public officers must realize that advancing the digital technologies is far from the top needs and expectations of the people, but in doing so they must build a long-term strategy of making cities “smarter”.

In the spring of 2018, Voronezh was included in the list of 18 cities picked by the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation for the pilot project “Smart City”. These cities will become the testing ground for centralized urban information systems and pin-point smart-developments. Voronezh already has a system of “smart” traffic lights that analyze the traffic and change their work mode depending on the traffic congestion rate. Now, the authorities are mounting “smart” bus stops with a bus route layout, an electronic display panel, lights, video cameras and free Wi-fi in the regional capital.