Opponents fear billion-rouble scheme to “preserve and redevelop” central
Conservationists and planning experts say $2.8bn pilot projects are a threat to historical character of the heart of the city
By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 26 December 2012
Conservationists who fought attempts by Gazprom, the State-controlled gas giant, to build a skyscraper opposite the Smolny Convent complex in the centre of St Petersburg are now facing another threat to the city’s architectural heritage—government plans to redevelop two historic districts in the city centre.
A resolution passed by the city legislature, signed by the St Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko in November, singles out the neighbourhoods of Konyushennaya and North Kolomna-New Holland for “preservation and development” as part of a “special purpose programme” that is due to start this year and be completed by 2018. The city says that the cost of the redevelopment will be $2.8bn, with $2.2bn coming from the municipal budget and $579m from private investors. Poltavchenko said last summer that overhauling the entire city centre would cost an estimated $129.5bn.
The project is meant to serve as a pilot for the rest of the historical centre of
Konyushennaya lies between the Hermitage and the St Petersburg . New State Russian
Museum is a former naval
yard near the Mariinsky Theater, which is being turned into a contemporary arts
centre by the billionaire Roman Abramovich and his art collector partner Dasha
City officials say the redevelopment will preserve historic buildings (if necessary by rebuilding them). They also want to rehouse people living in communal apartments, which are a throwback to the Soviet era, and create new pedestrian zones.