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Entries / Urban Plantations

Urban Plantations

Categories / City Topography/Green Areas

URBAN PLANTATIONS, artificially created plantations: gardens, parks, forest parks, yards lawns, and the territory around ponds, squares, streets. The plantations perform the double function of sanitary protection and aesthetic city decoration. The plantation of St. Petersburg and its suburbs along with bodies of water account for about 40% of the city territory (as for 2002). They are divided into three main categories: for public usage (gardens, parks, public gardens, boulevards, forest parks), for limited usage (lawns in the back yards of residential blocks and public buildings), and those with specialized functions (nurseries, reserves, botanical gardens, sanitary protection and water protecting plantations, cemetery and polygon lawns). By 2000 there was approximately 65 square meters of plantation for each inhabitant of St. Petersburg and its suburbs (approximately 1/3 intended for public usage). The total plantation area exceeds 31,000 hectares, the area of public plantation accounts for 12,664 hectares (including 68 parks, 166 gardens, 730 public gardens, 232 boulevards, 750 landscaped streets). About 1/5 of the plantation area is concentrated in Kurortny District, large masses are in Pushkinsky District and Petrodvortsovy District, over 2,000 hectares - in Primorsky District, Vyborgsky District and Krasnoselsky District, less than 300 hectares - in Tsentralny District, Admiralteysky District and in Kronstadt. The natural forest stock within the present day urban plantation of St. Petersburg and its suburbs does not exceed 10%. Zelenogorsky, Strelninsky and Glukhovskoy (Lomonosovsky District) nurseries supply the city with planting material. Throughout the existence of St. Petersburg the dendrological composition of its urban plantation had undergone considerable changes. The conifers like fir-woods and pines, and to a lesser degree the small-leaf communities of birch-woods, asp-woods and alder-woods are the backbone of the forest’s vegetation. The amount of larch, oak and lime account for a much smaller percentage. The present day dendroflora contains up to 38 tree species and 60 shrub species over 50% of which were introduced. Poplar, lime, elm, ash, birch, maple, oak, mountain ash, willow, fir, pine, Siberian larch, cedar along with shrubs like cotoneaster, lilac, currant, jasmine, spiraea, honeysuckle, dogwood, elm are mostly wide spread tree and shrub species of the urban plantation. Decorative shrub species and diverse flowers in fancy combinations also perform aesthetic functions. Forest protection and development of new urban plantations have been the state's objective since the very foundation of the city. In 1719, Peter the Great was the first to set up inspection of the coastal forests of Slavyanka; for that purpose a special post of Waldmeister was introduced which was assigned the task of forest protection, rehabilitation and planting. In 1826, the post of forester was introduced along with the establishment of special training schools (one of them was later reorganized into the Forest Institute, today known as Forest Technical Academy). A large part of the training involved detailed instructions in garden and park planning. Regular gardens and parks already emerged in the first half of the 18th century: in 1704-25 the Summer Garden was laid out, in 1711-12 - gardens near St. Alexander Nevsky Monastery, subsequently on Vasilievsky Island, in Ekaterinhof, on Elagin Island, Kamenny Island and Petrovsky Island. Gradually streets and embankments were also refurbished according to the lawn plan. Much of greenery was planted in nobles' estates and palaces (Tauride Garden, Palace Stone Island Park, Lopukhinsky Garden, Yusupovsky Garden, Mikhaylovsky Garden, Shuvalovsky Park and some others). In the 20th century suburban forests were planted or regenerated and named forest parks (Nevsky, Udelninsky, Sosnovsky, Piskarevsky, Severo-Primorsky, Novo-Orlovsky, Rzhevsky, Osinovaya Roshcha forest parks). In 1933 the forest park zone of Leningrad was formed (see Forest Park Protection Belt). Along with the expansion of the city territory, the forest park zone and suburban boundaries have been also altered with some of them incorporated within the city borders while others were attributed the status of city parks. In 1945 Primorsky Park and Moskovsky Pobedy Park were laid out later followed by a number of new gardens in residential areas. In the later part of the 20th century Yuzhno-Primorsky Park, Murinsky Park, Park of October Fiftyth Anniversary, Aviatorov Park, Internatsionalistov Park, Sosnovaya Polyana Park, Gorodov-Geroev Park, Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg and others emerged. Old trees are regularly replaced, which is especially true of poplars (the blooming of the female tree can trigger allergic diseases; often old branches fall due to storm winds and lead to injuries).

References: Игнатенко М. М., Гаврилов Г. М., Карпов Л. Н. Лесопарки Ленинграда. Л., 1980; Ходаков Ю. И. Зеленый наряд города. Л., 1986; Ленинград: Ист.-геогр. атлас. 2-е изд. М., 1989; Горышина Т. К. Зеленый мир старого Петербурга. СПб., 2003.

Y. P. Seliverstov.

Peter I, Emperor

Горышина Т.К. Зеленый мир старого Петербурга. СПб., 2003
Ходаков Ю. И. Зеленый наряд города. Л., 1986
Игнатенко М. М., Гаврилов Г. М., Карпов Л. Н. Лесопарки Ленинграда. Л., 1980
Ленинград: Ист.-геогр. атлас. 2-е изд. М., 1989

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