In April 2011, the new management set out to completely revamp the park and adapt it to modern tastes and necessities — and in just over six months Gorky park changed almost beyond recognition. It’s now a vast area dominated by trendy cafés, a cinema, a concert hall, a bike rental stand and free WiFi that covers the whole park. You can sunbathe on Olive Beach while listening to Russian and international DJs and engage in the see-and-be-seen of Moscow’s new “golden youth”. A giant Ferris wheel offers an unbeatable view over the city, and Garage, Moscow’s most important contemporary art centre, is set to relocate here.

Festivals or other cultural events take place nearly every weekend. The park’s newly landscaped lawns make it a great place for cycling, picnics and yoga, and in the winter, when the footpaths flood and freeze over, it becomes Europe’s biggest ice-skating rink.

Gorky Park is yet again set to become Muscovites’ favourite outdoor leisure spot, and shows that this can be achieved through top-down planning, too.

This and more inspiring projects can be found in the print copy of A smart guide to Utopia or the ebook version.