Balancing Preservation and Urban Development in Vladimir

Assumption Cathedral in winter.
Assumption Cathedral in winter. Image: Эдуард Wikimedia Косарев CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the oldest cities in Russia, its journey to balance past and present makes an interesting study for Urban Development.

Founded in 1108 and once the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality, it is the home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Assumption Cathedral, the Golden Gate and St. Dmitry Cathedral. It is one of the main cities in the Golden Ring of cultural heritage. It is first city in the U.S.S.R. with a state plan for the preservation and reconstruction of the historical center. This was achieved due to the research by the historian Lidia Dudorova who acquired information and drawings of virtually all the buildings in the historic city centre. Thus, historical buildings of significance are being reconstructed, restored and used even if their function is altered.

But despite the efforts, not all is picture perfect: historical buildings are surrounded by power lines and signs, and they are viewed against the backdrop of cars, buses, and new architecture from various eras in the distance. Other problems include the parody of new buildings pretending to be old and loss of panoramic views.

Learn more about the Vladimir city council’s efforts to conservation of cultural heritage at The Moscow Times.

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