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New Moscow park brings ‘wilderness’ to the city center

September 9, 2017 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin visit the Zaryadye Park in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. With a visit from President Putin, Moscow has inaugurated an innovative 32-acre (13-hectare) Zaryadye Park that mimics features of Russia's landscape on land where a notoriously unsightly hotel once sprawled, coming as part of observances commemorating Moscow's 870th anniversary. (Vasily Maximov, Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin visit the Zaryadye Park in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. With a visit from President Putin, Moscow has inaugurated an innovative 32-acre (13-hectare) Zaryadye Park that mimics features of Russia's landscape on land where a notoriously unsightly hotel once sprawled, coming as part of observances commemorating Moscow's 870th anniversary. (Vasily Maximov, Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — With a visit from President Vladimir Putin, Moscow has inaugurated an innovative 32-acre (13-hectare) park that mimics features of Russia’s landscape on land where a notoriously unsightly hotel once sprawled.

The Zaryadye Park’s opening Saturday came as part of observances commemorating Moscow’s 870th anniversary. The park includes artificial micro-climate areas with plants representing Russia’s steppes, tundra, wetlands and forests.

The site, about 200 meters east of the Kremlin along the Moscow River, once held the immense Rossiya Hotel, a 1960s Soviet hulk that once was the world’s largest hotel with some 3,000 rooms.

The new park was designed by the American architecture practice Diller Scofidio and Renfro, which called the park’s concept “wild urbanism.”