Moscow in Kostov
What were the origins of this city and how did it emerge?
Moscow was established because of confrontations between the Vyatiches and Vladimir Monomakh who was Kiev’s Grand Prince. The area between the Moskva River, which was a border between Chernigov and Rostov-Suzdal, came about to be known as Moscow in the 12th century. Mocow grew as an important venue for official visits by state guests such as Novgorod Severskiy’s prince Svyatoslav who was invited by Yuri Dolgorukiy in 1147. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, Moscow was divided into five regions namely the Kremlin, Bielygorod, Kitaigorod, Zemlianoigorod, and Miestchanskygorod. The city divisions were combined after a fire in the year 1812 and replaced with Garden and Boulevard Ring Roads. The city grew in terms of infrastructure as population increased from 250,000 to 1million people in the 19th century and up to 10million in the 20th century.
The city became an important trade center and fortress that provided protection to communities from external aggressors. The Moskva River provided an important means of transportation for people and movement of goods. Moscow during this period also served as an administrative center rather than a production area for goods. A majority of population were engaged in farming, with other activities such as iron and woodworking.
In what way did this city host the public, and how were all users included?
The city of Moscow played varied roles in terms of usage of public places and venues. Some of the common areas were the Piazzas, which were set out public spaces that provided venues for meetings. Public places such as the Piazzas are different from private areas because they provide freedom of action or inaction. In addition, it is also important to note that these public places also played a crucial ritual role. The Moscow Metro is an example of a public space that was opened in the year 1935 as the central point of Moscow’s transportation system. Critics note that the Moscow Metro was a Stalinist strategy to subdue the population to appreciate realist Soviet art (Kostof 127).
It is also important to note that totalitarian approach assumed by the soviets in establishing their public spaces was effective in gaining support from the public. The fascist squares were developed with an aim of providing elaborate venues where the regimes would conduct public ceremonies drills and rallies. In addition, these locations were integral towards the socialist policies that were adopted by various soviet regimes. Thus, a majority of public spaces were aimed at ensuring that they would accommodate all individuals and in the process subdue any opposing factions. The Red Square was developed in a central location to suit the regime’s needs for control and fascist ideologies. This illustrated the use of city planning and public infrastructure development as means of providing platforms for controlling the public (Kostof 129).
The designer of the subway, Lazar Kaganovich, developed the subway in manner that would enable the citizens to appreciate the values of the Stalin regime. The thirteen artworks, which were used, became important national themes for the soviets. The metro has been understood to be a symbol of the new social order (communism) for the soviets during its inception. From such, it is evident that political and administrative activities were central to the growth of Moscow because t was associated with power and control. This is the primary reason for the various conflicts over the movement of administrative centers between Saint Petersburg and Moscow as select venues for housing government agencies and offices. Different regimes held varied views over the location of their administrative offices, despite Moscow being the common venue given that it illustrated power, and offered elaborate means of ensuring control over the masses.
Kostof, Spiro. The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form Through History. Boston: Little, Brown, 1992. Print.
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