Leonid Lavrov, Elena Molotkova, Andrey Surovenkov


Introduction: This study was prompted by the introduction of the urban environment quality index into the system operated by the Russian Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector (Minstroy). We note that the ˝environment-centric˝ methodologies were already worked on and applied to housing studies in Leningrad as far back as during the 1970–1980s, and that the insights from these studies can now be used for analyzing the current state of the urban environment. Purpose of the study and methods: The information reviewed in this article gives us the first glimpse of the tangible urban environment in the historic center of Saint Petersburg. Many features of this part of the city are reminiscent of other European metropolises, but the fact that the historic center is split into three parts by vast waterways, that the construction began from the ground up in the middle of the wilderness, and that the active urban development phase lasted only a century and a half (from the 1760s to the 1910s), has a major part to play. Results: We use quantitative data to describe the features of the Saint Petersburg historic center and compare our findings to the features of European metropolises, across such parameters as spatial geometry, transportation and pedestrian links, and environmental conditions. Our study reveals a number of issues that challenge the quality of life in this part of the city. We also offer a critique of the regional norms for construction and reconstruction in historic districts, which offer a biased view of the situation and do not offer any ways of optimizing it.


Historic center of Saint Petersburg, urban environment, multi-factor analysis, urban planning.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23968/2500-0055-2020-5-3-29-42


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