The dramatic changes of Russian economy led to some significant shifts in mentality, social attitudes, morality, culture and, consequently, urban planning strategies and philosophy. Saint Petersburg, which is a UNESCO listed World Monument and particularly known for its well-preserved urban settings, came under the abrupt developmental push.
For its different kind of functions, which include tourism, military, administration and industry, Saint Petersburg was always more comparable of the living and working patterns of European cities. Nevertheless, because of poor Soviet-style funding, combined with the tough restrictions of the old preservation laws, the city avoided, somehow, to be overtaken by aesthetic modern architecture.
Currently, Saint Petersburg is facing a new difficult and complex challenge: how to safeguard its historic context, while providing a flexible framework for the rapid infrastructure upgrade. The strict laws forbidding any development will eventually lead to their disdain through bribe or criminal actions. In addition to some necessary restrictions, it is needed an appealing, historically informed developmental strategy, that respects both history and business requirements.
Saint Petersburg was conceived and built as a whole, following a central theme from which each building derived its architectonic details. Moreover, the city reflects a tangible expression of European culture within the Euro-Asian dynamic of the Russian nation. It is considered a prestigious cultural, political and historical monument for Russia and the World. For these reasons, it became a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Saint Petersburg, from its very foundation, has been a cultural centre of the country and, up to now, it preserves its implicit status of cultural capital of Russia, having also won popularity all over the world.
But Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city and former imperial capital, is in danger now of being excluded from the UNESCO's list of world heritage sites because of plans to build a high skyscraper in its historic centre. Apparently, the most controversial construction project, the Okhta tower will stand 396 metres high, making it the tallest building in Europe. It will be taller than the Empire State Building and more than three times higher than the tallest spire in Saint Petersburg: the Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 6
Russia and Saint Petersburg in the UNESCO World Heritage List 6
1. UNESCO and World Heritage list 6
2. The presence of Russian Federation 13
2.1 The Soviet image of UNESCO 13
2.2. The Russian Federation and the World Heritage List 21
3. Saint Petersburg and UNESCO 36
3.1 The architecture of Saint Petersburg from 1703 to present day 36
Printed sources 49
Electronic Publications 51
Abelsky, P. (2007) Gazprom Threatens Saint Petersburgs Skyline. 12 February. Article. http://www.archi.ru/events/news/news_current_press.html?nid=3503&fl=1&sl=1.
Abelsky, P. (2007) Redesigning the Power Vertical. Russia Profile.org. 13 February. Article. http://www.russiaprofile.org/page.php?pageid=Culture+%26+Living&articleid=407.
Amery, C.(2007)Gazprom Tower Threatens to Deface Saint Petersburg. Bloomberg.com, 26 December. Article.
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