University of Bath

Moscow Housing Renovation Programme: Responsiveness, redistribution and regime stability in Russia

In this seminar, Professor Regina Smyth will compare the nature of the support for the 2018 Moscow renovation programme.

19 Mar 20191.15pm
19 Mar 20192.05pm
Aerial view of houses in a city on a winter day
The seminar will discuss support for an urban reconstruction project

Moscow Housing Renovation Programme

In early 2018, President Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin held a televised meeting in which they announced a large-scale urban reconstruction project. Aimed at a class of buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, the project involved demolishing 5,800 apartment houses and relocating more than 1.6 million residents. While the risky policy did prompt some protest in Spring 2018, it also garnered significant popular support.


In this talk, Professor Regina Smyth will compare the nature of the support for the programme among three groups:

  • those whose houses were included
  • those who were excluded
  • those who were not eligible for consideration

The analysis demonstrates that the support for the programme varied across these three groups. The findings illustrate the regimes’ capacity to respond to social demands, construct policy processes, and redistribute wealth to secure support without alienating Muscovites who did not directly benefit from the programme. Based on a collaborative research project, this talk is based on new survey and focus group data collected in Winter 2019.