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St. Petersburg

  • Maria Ignatieva
  • Galina Konechnaya
  • Glenn Stewart
Chapter

Abstract

Peter the Great initiated a gigantic experiment to change an inhospitable natural wetland landscape into a major city and port by the construction of drainage canals and buildings, the spreading of fertile soil and the planting of millions of broad-leaved trees. During Soviet times the city was surrounded by high-rise ­apartment blocks. The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic parks and gardens have the highest plant biodiversity of all the urban biotopes in the central areas although the most common biotopes are associated with walls, buildings and embankments. There are six protected areas (2,150 ha) comprising unique native habitats and which contain the most rare species and “pure” undisturbed examples of natural habitats. The recent shift to a market economy and the consequential increase in air pollution has seen a decrease in lichen biodiversity and degradation of urban soils. The shift has also resulted in the sub-urbanisation of the city caused by a change in emphasis from public green space in the Soviet era to the large private gardens of affluent people. St. Petersburg is following international trends in landscape design; all the plant material for new public and private sectors is sourced from ‘western’ nurseries and based mainly on non-native, fashionable “global” taxa, as a consequence the urban flora is also becoming standardised.

Keywords

Herb Layer Residential Neighbourhood Taraxacum Officinale Forest Park Leningrad Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Ignatieva
    • 1
  • Galina Konechnaya
  • Glenn Stewart
  1. 1.Division of Landscape Architecture, Department of Urban and Rural DevelopmentSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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