EcoGrad: A concept for ecological city planning for St. Petersburg, Russia

Åsa Nystedt, Mari Sepponen, Seppo Teerimo, Johanna Nummelin, Mikko Virtanen, Pekka Lahti

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The objective of the EcoGrad project was to develop a design concept of eco-efficient districts in the city of St. Petersburg. The important principles of the creation of this concept included the so-called GOLD principle (GOLD - Globally Optimized, Locally Designed). This meant that local conditions had to be taken into account while applying globally optimized solutions. The EcoGrad concept includes dense city development, a minimal need for travel, a maximum use of public transportation and light vehicles, minimum power consumption, the maximum use of renewable energy sources and ecologically stable solutions concerning waste disposal and sewerage. Social and cultural aspects must also be taken into account. In Russia, the creation of energy efficient sites is still in its early stages. Power supply systems based on renewable energy sources are also hardly known. On the other hand, the Russians are well skilled in placing offices and consumer services next to residencies. Regulations dictate the maximum allowable distances between residential buildings and such services as infant-care groups, kindergartens, schools, ambulatory clinics and stores, fully conforming to the principles of designing eco-efficient city districts. While the project was being implemented, residents were polled. The polls revealed that the absolute majority of them (92%) did not consider the use of renewable energy sources important. Most of them (80%) had not heard of mechanical ventilation. Fresh air is considered important yet less than half of al respondents (40%) are prepared to pay for it. Involving residents in the development process, that is, the so-called LivingLab action is an important component of designing eco-efficient residential areas. In Russia, the participation of residents should be further extended and made a part of the design work. The project concerned three pilot territories for which residential designs were made. The designs included estimates of power consumption and a study of the distribution of emissions when using various energy supply systems suitable for local conditions. Besides, a design providing for better ecology without any greater investment was made for one of the pilot sites. The PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) pilot project involved the development of practical models of project implementation. While this work continued, seven meetings with representatives of St. Petersburg administration were held. During these meetings, a presentation of the components of this concept was made and opinions heard as to how its various sections would suit local conditions. These opinions were put in the basis of the list of the criteria of designing environmentally clean areas presented in this report. Local designers may use this list while searching for answers as to requirements to city designs which need to be met in order to make residential areas eco-effective.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages87
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7701-9
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7701-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • city planning
    • energy efficiency
    • Russia


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