St. Petersburg

  • Maria Ignatieva
  • Galina Konechnaya
  • Glenn Stewart


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.


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.

Literature Cited

  1. Ageeva O (1999) Petersburg in Russian social consciousness in early 18th century. Russko-Baltiiski informatsionni Tsentr, Sankt Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar
  2. Babikov B, Melnichuk I (2003) Main direction of the Department of soil science and hydro melioration in 21st century. Bulletin of Saint Petersburg Forest Technical Academy 170: 58–66 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  3. Balashova N, Zavarsina A (eds) (1999) Biodiversity of the Leningrad Region (Algae, Fungi, Lichens, Bryophytes, Invertebrates, Fishes, Fish-like vertebrates. Trudi Sankt-Petersburgskogo Obschestva estestvoispitatelei. Ser. 6.T.2. St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg. (in Russian)Google Scholar
  4. Bogovaya I, Fursova L (1988) Landscape Art. Agropromisdat, Moscow (in Russian)Google Scholar
  5. Bulygin N, Firsov G (1983) Introduction of maples in the North West part of Russian Federation. Report. Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
  6. Bulygin N, Firsov G (1995) Woody plants of indigenous flora in urbanophytocenoces of St. Petersburg. Bulletin of Main Botanical Garden 172: 3–7 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  7. Chichev A (1985) Adventive flora of railways in Moscow region. Dissertation, Moscow State University (in Russian)Google Scholar
  8. Dubyago T (1963) Russian formal gardens and parks. Stroiisdat, Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
  9. Eremeeva E (2000) Results of flora research of microdistricts in St. Petersburg. Formation of vegetation cover of urbanized areas. Materials of international conference. Veliky Novgorod. 9–10 June 2000: 69–72 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  10. Goryshina T (2003) Green world of old Petersburg. Iskusstvo SPB, St. Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar
  11. Goryshina T, Ignatieva M (2000) Botanical excursions around the city. Chimisdat, St. Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar
  12. Gusev Yu (1968) Changes of ruderal flora of Leningrad region during 200 years. Botanical Journal 53 (11): 1569–1579 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  13. Haare A (1978) Specierum relictarum locus novus in provincia Leningradensi. Novitates systematicae plantarum vascularium, 15: 240–247. (in Russian)Google Scholar
  14. Ignatenko M, Gavrilov G, Karpov L (1980) Forest-parks of Leningrad. Stroiisdat, Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
  15. Ignatieva M (1982) Whortleberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) in parks. Leningrad Panorama Journal 9:36–38 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  16. Ignatieva M (1994) Flora of green areas of St. Petersburg. Bulletin of Main Botanical Garden 169: 31–35 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  17. Ignatieva M (2005) Case Study: Heritage Landscapes in St. Petersburg, Russia: Past and Present. Proceedings of NZILA “Looking forward to HERITAGE LANDSCAPES” Conference. New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Conference Dunedin, 28–30th April 2005: 337–347Google Scholar
  18. Ignatieva M and Khodakov Yu (1991) Decorative plants of St. Petersburg: History of the Development and modern conditions. Unpublished (in Russian)Google Scholar
  19. Ignatieva M, Konechnaya G (1996) Wild herbaceous plants of Komarov Botanical Institute Park. Botanical Journal Russia 81 (3): 96–105 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  20. Ignatieva M, Konechnaya G (2004) Floristic Investigations of Historical Parks in St. Petersburg, Russia. Urban Habitats 2 (1): History, Ecology, and Restoration of a Degraded Urban WetlandGoogle Scholar
  21. Ignatieva M, May R, Rolle N (2003) The Neva Project: River and the City. Peter the Great and the Neva River Delta. Accessed 22 January 2009
  22. Kurbatov Yu (2008) Petrograd Leningrad Sankt-Peterburg. Architectural and Urban Planning Lessons. St. Petersburg, Iskusstvo-SPB (in Russian)Google Scholar
  23. Kuznetsov E, Ignatieva M (2003) St.Petersburg Forest Greenbelt Status Report completed for the Danish Forest and Landscape Research InstituteGoogle Scholar
  24. Lovell S (2003) Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710–2000. Cornell University Press, Ithaca/LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Malysheva N (2003) Lichens of St. Petersburg. St.Petersburg State University. Trudi Sankt-Peterbrgskogo Obschestva ispitatelei prirody 79(3) (in Russian)Google Scholar
  26. Minyaev N, Orlova N, Schmidt V (1981) Key to higher vascular plants of north-west of RSPHSR (Leningrad, Pskov and Novorod regions). LGU, Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
  27. Nekrasova V (1959) Flora of St. Petersburg and its nearest suburbs in 18th century. Botanical Journal 44 (2) 249–261 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  28. Nilsson K, Åkerlund U, Konijnendijk C, Alekseev A, Caspersen O, Guldag S, Kuznetsov E, Mezenko A, Selikhovkin A (2007) Implementing urban greening aid projects – the case of St. Petersburg, Russia. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening (6) (2): 93–101Google Scholar
  29. Pokrovskaya T, Bychkova A (1967) Climate of St. Petersburg and its suburbs. Gidrometeoisdat, Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
  30. Popov V (1995) Analysis of adventive element of St. Petersburg sea port. Botanical Journal 80 (12): 104–106 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  31. Noskov G (ed) (2004) Red Data Book of Nature of Saint-Petersburg. Professional, St. Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar
  32. Tsvelev N (2000) Key to higher vascular plants in north-west part of Russia (Leningrad, Pskov and Novorod regions). SPKXPHA, St. Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar
  33. Volkova E, Isachenko G, Khramtsov V (eds). (2007) Nature of Elagin Island, St. Petersburg. Elagin Island, St. Petersburg (in Russian)Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations