Spatial transformation processes will be documented using the example of selected residential districts from different eras in Sayansk, Irkutsk, Tula and Chelyabinsk. In addition to analysing urban-spatial and architectural-design changes, the transformation of usage options as well as social structures will be explored. The research methods will include a systematic, criteria-based search for examples by means of evaluating primary and secondary literature, site visits, and expert and resident surveys.

Lead: Prof. Barbara Engel (urban development and planning, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), together with Dr. Anastasia Malko, Ekaterina Gladkova M.A. and Marina Sapunova M.A. (all Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology), in collaboration with the partners Prof. Valerii Kozlov (urban development and planning, Irkutsk National Research Technical University) and Dr. Nadezhda Shilova (urban research, Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Investigation and evaluation of representative spatial transformation processes in selected residential neighbourhoods of the late 19th and 20th centuries in Sayansk, Irkutsk, Tula and Chelyabinsk.


Within the research project should be evaluated, what architectural, functional and social transformations of the existing housing stock are recognizable. Patterns of the different housing districts will be identified. Aim of the project is the categorization of the treatment of housing stock and approaches to valorization? How are the approaches received among planners and heritage conservationists as well as by the public? What are ‘good practices’ in preservationist urban development? What strategies, methods and instruments have been used for this purpose? Based on the analysis, of the transformations conclusions for knowledge transfer between regions, cities, towns and neighbourhoods will be drawn.


First phase of the project will consist of baseline assessment and preparation of the urban planning analyses, such as evaluation of international literature and adaptation of good practice planning. Based on this research the analysis matrix for the urban planning analyses. The first phase of work will conclude with a joint meeting of the Research Network in Chelyabinsk to reflect on the knowledge acquired and to review and update the research design.

This phase is followed by the the analysis of structural, functional and social transformations in selected cities, e.g. Tula, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk and others. Selected neighbourhoods will be photographed and drawn, and the urban-spatial and functional changes that have taken place will be described verbally and graphically. Interviews and focus group discussions will be held, including with people in leading positions in city administrations, housing companies and associations, and property management firms, as well as with local architects and citizens. Part of the respective analysis phases will comprise expert workshops in the form of local round tables, where the interim findings will be presented and discussed with experts from research as well as representatives of administrations and politics, the private sector, and civil society initiative groups in the context of current social conditions and expectations as well as functional requirements and applicable planning laws. The results will be published in specialist articles.

Final phase is the evaluation, with verbal and graphic assessment of the findings as well as the drafting of conclusions and recommendations. The materials produced will be conclusively systematized, edited, and prepared for publication in a book.