Networks of underground


Information on underground communications will be put together in the Consolidated plan

This year the city authorities are planning to set up a Consolidated plan of utility networks and underground facilities within the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD). The plan was announced this Friday by Sergey Levkin, Head of the urban planning policy department, during the Urban Talks roundtable discussion at the Information Center of the Moscow Government.

He noted that there are very few examples of such resources in the world.  Similar tools are only available in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

In recent years, urban development activities of the capital are extensively reshaped. The foundation for innovations in urban development sector of Moscow was laid in 2012, when the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin called the reduction of administrative barriers one of the main goals of the city. Today the procedures concerning construction sector undergo upgrade, including transfer of state services to electronic format. And the work is ongoing.

“The Consolidated plan is a source of information which will include an integrated data about the types and layout of existing and planned underground utilities and structures, in order to prevent developer from blunders while implementing the project. Formation of the Consolidated plan will be completed before the end of this year. The data resource began operating in a test mode on April 1,” said Levkin.

Adomanis Mark MA/MBA candidate at the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School of Business
According to him, there are very few examples of such resources. “Today only the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany have got similar tools for investment community,” noted the Head of the urban planning policy department.

Earlier, the Deputy Mayor for urban policy and construction Marat Khusnullin said that the Consolidated plan will include all underground parts of buildings and underground utilities, as well as their projects.

“Creating such a plan will optimize the process of connecting new facilities to utility networks and significantly reduce the timing of engineering survey work for developers,” said Marat Khusnullin, adding that the plan is being developed by the company Mosgorgeotrest.

Another tool that is designed to make investor’s life easier is an integrated contact center which will provide information and help on administrative procedures related to construction. This service will help developers facilitate the process of obtaining approvals and permits.

According to Sergey Levkin, in this contact center developers will be able to get answers to all questions on administrative procedures related to construction. In addition, it planned to set up an online calculator that will allow an investor to calculate the period of construction works for the certain project.

“In accordance with the resolution of the Moscow government, there will be launched the contact center, which will integrate all the necessary tools for developers. We expect that this year the center will be launched in test mode,” promised Sergey Levkin.

Another step of the city authorities towards lowering administrative barriers is the provision of services in electronic format. Today 12 state services in the field of construction are available online in Moscow. Last year 73% of all applications for state services in the city have been submitted via the internet. Since 2016, excavation permits are issued in electronic format.

“For the moment the exhaustive list which was set at the federal level, includes 142 procedures for purposes of housing construction. The number of procedures related solely to construction, amounts only to 24,” commented Sergey Levkin.

Moscow authorities note a considerable progress in this field, though the term of procedures related to construction of utility networks are still overextended.

“At best an object emerges in 2 years after the decision on its construction. Canceling procedure of obtaining a construction permit will significantly reduce the time of construction of engineering networks in Moscow,” said the official.

Levkin noted that this decision was discussed for several years. “As a result of systematic work with networking organizations and regulatory authorities, a list of networks with minimal safety risks was elaborated. Networks included in it provide connection of certain objects under construction,” added he.

Kazinets Leonid Executive chairman of the Barkli corporation, President of the National Association of Property Developers
Market participants also believe that the cancellation of this procedure can reduce the term of construction. “This issue remains one of the most acute in the list of administrative barriers. There are examples when a house is already built, but it cannot be put into operation due to the unavailability of utility systems. The present decision of the city authorities facilitates this situation,” said Leonid Kazinets, President of the Barkli Corporation, a board member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Sergey Levkin also noted that Moscow will transfer to electronic format three more state related to construction, resulting in a total of 15. The current list will be updated with such e-services as obtaining PSTS (project specific technical specifications), getting access to the data of Consolidated Plan of utility networks, as well as obtaining a notice on compliance of a constructed object to existing utility networks.

“Launching e-service of issuing these documents is another step towards improving the investment climate in Moscow,” said the official.

Moreover, in the nearest future the Moscow government promises to develop a mechanism for cadastral registration of real estate objects without the involvement of developers. The procedure will be carried out by departments on their own.

Besides administrative barriers, investors are affected by drop in demand for housing. “We should not forget that absence of administrative barriers is only one of factors. Other factors are income level of citizens and general economic conditions. It surely affects the cost of a square meter,” noted the public official of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives in Moscow Dmitry Volkov.

Leonid Kazinets in turn noted that the appetites of developers have become more modest. “Today, market participants believe that it’s not possible to commission a huge volume of housing. And it’s not just a problem of money shortage, but also sales problem,” said Kazinets.

Meanwhile, the forecasts of the city authorities remain optimistic. Currently, 25 million square meters in Moscow are at various stages of construction. That is more than 2.5 thousand objects.

“I would like to emphasize that this figure remains regular during the last five years, it is slightly decreasing but remains roughly at this level,” said the Head of department.

Moskovskaya Perspektiva