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Sosnovaya Polyana, St. Petersburg


  • area: 43,2 ha

  • 50 000 residents

  • 104 houses to be demolished:  

  • 52 “Stalinist” cottages                

  • 52 “Khrushchev” houses

  • almost 600 000 sq.m. to be built

  • by 2019 no houses demolished

  • 5 houses were built

A historic district in the south-west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, home to over 50 000 people, dominated by prefabricated apartment buildings from the Khrushchev era. Generally, in Saint Petersburg, Khrushchev era housing estates are of low-density and found in convenient locations with developed infrastructure and a favorable green environment. This makes them a target for redevelopment.

"Renovatsiya" is a city redevelopment program that started in 2008 and was set to demolish (or in rare cases to reconstruct) over 1 thousand low-rise ageing houses on 900 ha, replacing them with 8 million square meters of new housing. The dwellers of the old houses were to be resettled into new buildings within the same quarter, the density of which, with the influx of new dwellers, would increase by at least three times.

However, soon after the start, the program faced major difficulties, and by 2019, only 3.5 percent of the program was completed. Even though the program was mostly associated with the redevelopment of Khrushchev era housing estates, none of it has been demolished.


The study of both causes and factors in Renovatsiya's failure in Saint Petersburg will allow us to develop tools to approach similar problems in many other Khrushchev era housing estates in Russia. The study is especially pressing given the controversial measures applied by the Renovatsiya program in Moscow.

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