Archaeology of the Periphery: Moscow Beyond Its Center

In Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication emerging out of the Moscow Urban Forum, a variety of specialists tackle the issue of a strategy for the development of Moscow's metropolitan area. As one of the best examples of urban concentric development, teams of engineers, architects, planners, economists and sociologists, studied the Russian metropolis with a pointed focus on the periphery—specifically the territory between the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road. Using an "archaeological" approach, the study reveals entrenched and hidden planning structures in order to increase the awareness and attractiveness of the periphery. Archaeology of the Periphery argues that examination of the city's fringe requires different methods of analysis than would be applied to traditional city centers.

"As the centre sets a certain quality of life and serves as a benchmark for the entire city, the high "gravitation" of the centre makes the signs of urban life invisible on the outskirts. Different optics are required in order to work with the non-central urban space. The tactic of "taking out" the centre and "sharpening the focus" on the peripheral territory will reveal what has been obscured and help identify the processes that take place, study potential, support or control the current forces at play.

The term "periphery," which is based on the opposition to a semantic centre is used in a wide range of scientific fields. The myriad of approaches underlines the ambiguity of the phenomenon and at the same time provides a base for an multidisciplinary research. This research was performed by experts in sociology (S), politics (P), architecture and urban planning (A), culture (C), economics (E) and big data (D). Methodology — SPACED — allows a broader view of the actual and potential intersections, going."

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In an interview we conducted at the III Moscow Urban Forum, Yuri Grigoryan explained that the outskirts of the city are "the area with the mass of potential." Yuri is the cofounder of the renowned Russian firm Meganom and the Director of Education at Strelka. He guided the team that prepared the research project and wrote the introduction to Architecture of the Periphery.

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The publication, which is available to view online, features an examination of over 25 urban territories from around the world. Using satellite imagery, the study "shows the imprint of the real city beyond administrative border" and explores the relationship of these metropolises to their official, fixed centers.

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Moscow Urban Forum is an annual international conference in the field of urban planning, architecture, economics, and strategic city planning, organized by the Moscow city government since 2011. Forum has gained a reputation as a successful platform for generating exchanges between the world’s leading experts on urbanism, city management, and business development. The forum provides an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities that are created in the modern megapolises, to consider future visions and trajectories for development, based not only on effective management, economics, and top-down planning but also on the perspective of a city dweller. Multidisciplinary research team Archaeology of the Periphery- is a pilot project of the forum, which opens a series of works focused on the urban environment.

About this author
Cite: David Basulto. "Archaeology of the Periphery: Moscow Beyond Its Center" 10 Apr 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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