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Article

От объекта к среде: поиск новых подходов к устойчивому развитию исторических территорий

Excluded from the urban policy discourse during Soviet period, historical centers of Russian cities are of interest to private developers today. The current development of these territories leads to the loss of valuable morphological characteristics which have been formed evolutionarily: lot configuration and size, building height and density, etc.

The attitudes of public authorities towards the maintenance of historical territories today mainly comes down to the preservation of listed heritage buildings. The status of historical settlements is a new tool in Russian heritage preservation policies. It allows the regulation of infill development parameters
in historical areas and thereby protects the historic environment as an entity. Heritage preservation restrictions, however, are considered an obstacle for urban development since the logic of conservation is opposed to that of development. Public authorities, private developers and local residents have little to no resources and incentives to develop territories in accordance with the imposed restrictions.

This article argues that despite the strengths of these tools, it is not enough when territory revitalization is the goal. Existing regulations should be expanded by a set of incentive measures to stimulate the revitalization of historical urban cores and turn heritage into a capitalized asset.

The first part of the article is devoted to the theoretical underpinnings for elaborating an approach to the revitalization process. The authors appeal to urban morphology theory in order to determine the potential of historical environments. The second part is devoted to a review of best practices
in the revitalization of historical centers. Third part of the article gives an overview of the current development practices of various stakeholders in the existing institutional context. The case of the historical center of Samara is used to illustrate the common phenomena.

Institutional economics is used to review the system of incentives and approaches to assessing the effects and to evaluate the contribution of various factors to the investment attractiveness of the territory and the development process as a whole.