Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They're Turning This into This!

You have to hand it to the Russians! Ever since the fall of communism, they have embraced many of the things that we take for granted in the old west as the norm.

However I do wonder if this so called progress does filter down to the average Russian in the street. What do they think when they see the hordes of tourists, the luxury boutiques and a growing affluent middle class?

In St. Petersburg they are embarking on ambitious new plans to welcome new tourists via the re-development of some of the waterfront. Plans are underway to turn the city of Peter the Great into the Russian equivalent of Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

Currently over 500 hectares of land has been reclaimed and several new terminals around a new basin have been built with construction on the rest of the project due to commence soon.
When Marine Façade is opened, it will be the largest dedicated cruise port of call in the world,” said Mark Ittel, a partner with Bermello Ajamil & Partners, a Miami-based architectural firm that designs cruise ports around the world.

Europe’s new gateway to Russia is to offer bay side hotels with 2,000 rooms, a convention center, apartments for 35,000 people, shopping, entertainment and office complexes, two metro stations, and a high-speed highway to whisk visitors to St. Petersburg’s airports. Like many mega construction projects in contemporary Russia, the completion date has been set for that magic deadline year, 2020.

I can only hazard a guess as to what the occupants of the Soviet era apartment blocks that currently overlook this hive of capitalism will think of their new neighbours?


  1. Wow this looks interesting..but yeah I wonder that too..its interesting to see when modern clashes with old..it could work either ways...though I hope it works for the better

    The Black Label

  2. Perfect setting for a Russian Miami Vice. I can see it now...

  3. wow- I've been to St. P's in the winter though- looks like another go around might be in order- this time in the summer.

  4. I think Russians deserve a more balanced development of their country. We all know what the "pariah" in the old apartment blocks around will think, don't we! Will this development be the new Winter Palace of the future?

    PS. I like very much your writings of beauty...and beyond. Again, thanks for sharing.

  5. Hello David:
    What an extraordinary and ambitious scheme. The point which you make about the contrast with the new Russia and that of the Soviet era applies in exactly the same way here in Hungary where the few are becoming richer by the day, whilst the majority struggle to make ends meet.

  6. Thank you :-)))
    In the last five or six months I had so much stress... But now I have a new job and everything is much better :-)))
    My dad brought me sweets from his Moscow business trip two weeks ago. :-)))

  7. This post resonates in the current economic environment (world round).
    I live in a small beach community (plenty of land though) and watch in horror as a few people make questionable decisions that affect the entire community. (Garish hotels...large parking lots...a Starbucks every ten yards..and of course, parking meters everywhere)Oh...and my favorite...palm trees....I live in Virginia...palm trees??????

  8. Oh boy how true it is! A cousin who is a political writer just visited there after not having been in almost 10 years and was astounded at how its grown but in some cases ways that were not favorable. The new wealth and surge of billionaires has created this new generation of titans and a very indulged society albeit its a small sector......she felt it has sold its soul to the exploitaitons of being a new consumer driven logo crazy country. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, I always wanted to visit but now not so sure based upon her observations. Though granted she was in Moscow only where I am sure this is most prevalent. It is exciting and encouraging in this climate to see a country grow and flourish but at a proper pace but new money often brings about much unrest a result of growing too fast hence some of what is happening in China now...interesting post.

  9. Hi, David - It's startling to see the color contrast of new and old in that aerial view of the new waterfront. It's also interesting to note that the planners recognize the need for a gradual shift, introducing a parkland between the two sectors.

    In the other St. Petersburg (where I live, in Florida) it's a constant fight in waterfront development to plan for enough landscaped setback.

  10. wow, amazing changes afoot. it looks like the dubai of eastern europe!


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