Daria Belova


Introduction: Currently, the projects related to the development of identical historical environments in Siberia, Russia, are predominately inconsistent. Yet there is an opportunity to find a more holistic approach to sustaining local heritage, which could address local cultures and identities through an understanding of how the location, as well as specific spatial and architectural practices, evolve. Purpose of the study: The study aimed to establish a theoretical and methodological framework for sustaining the local identity in architectural terms. Methods: According to the methodological recommendations of Groat and Wang, such methods as critical literature review and logical argumentation were used. Results: The research came to the conclusion that the city identity can be unfolded through two or more congruent layers of existence. This study deals with architectural heritage and society as two types of such layers. It suggests that the local identities of historical environments could be sustained by a combination of the following methods: 1) looking to the past, through analyzing the city’s fabric and searching for “social traces” and semiotic meanings; 2) looking to the future, through using participatory design methods. This methodology should be further tested on specific historical environments in Siberia. The critical literature review will provide researchers and practitioners in the field with a fundamental theoretical framework.


Architecture, philosophy of architecture, identity, heritage, participatory practice, sustainable development.

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