- Some of Russia's provincial towns are surprisingly pleasant places to live, something you never, ever, ever, hear from the Western media
- Trust us, we've lived in some of them!
MOSCOW, December 6 (Sputnik) – The cities of Stavropol, Ulyanovsk and Belgorod are the best Russian cities to live in, according to an annual contest to find the country’s most livable cities.
“The winners of the contest are to receive 95 million rubles from the federal budget for the years 2014-2016,” said the Russian government in a statement on Saturday announcing the winners. “No less than 90% of the award is to be spent on the development of city infrastructure and municipal institutions, while up to 10% can go on bonuses to those employees who have gained the best results in improving the infrastructure and institutions of their area.”
The contest has been run since 2010 by the Ministry for Construction and Municipal Infrastructure, and the winners announced on Saturday are those cities who posted the best results for 2013. Stavropol in the south of Russia took first place, followed by Ulyanovsk on the river Volga, and Belgorod, which lies close to the border with Ukraine.
In making its decision, the Ministry looks at several indicators, including the cities’ level of transport and infrastructural development, environmental condition, accessibility for those of reduced mobility, implementation of progressive technology and energy effectiveness, and also the municipality’s architectural merits.
“Prizes are awarded with a view to stimulating local organizations to devote greater attention to questions of development of municipal infrastructure and improving the livability of their local area,” the government stated. Last year’s competition was topped by the cities of Kaluga, Cheboksary and Vladimir.