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The Environmental Impact of Transition : A Case Study of Moscow City

Jon Oldfield
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 165, No. 2, The Changing Meaning of Place in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe: Commodification, Perception and Environment (Jul., 1999), pp. 222-231
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/3060420
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3060420
Page Count: 10
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The Environmental Impact of Transition : A Case Study of Moscow City
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Abstract

The development policies of the Soviet period resulted in widespread environmental damage within the USSR. The profound societal changes initiated by the transition period led many to envisage an improving environmental situation within the successor states. This paper takes the example of Moscow city and assesses the environmental impact of the transition period within the region. The changing pressures being placed upon air, water and vegetation resources are examined. It would seem that many of the expected improvements in environmental quality have not materialized. New environmental pressures are a significant contributor to this situation. For example, the increasing number of motor vehicles is encouraging high levels of air pollution within the city. Water quality is being threatened by new housing developments and the violation of sanitary protection zones. Furthermore, the construction of office and retail space is placing pressure upon the city's green spaces. Nevertheless, the influence of the Soviet legacy should not be underestimated. The considerable physical and cultural heritage is having a profound impact upon the contemporary situation.

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