Cultural Inheritance of Industrial Cities in Contemporary Russia: Problems and Perspectives

The article is dedicated to special features and contemporary problems of monocities in the Urals - the traditional industrial region of Russia. Main characters of monocities or so-called factory-cities such as the specificity of urban planning, preferences in architectural styles, some details of ‘the mode of life' in them are described and analyzed. Three key epochs of developing factory-cities in the Urals - their foundation in the beginning of the eighteenth century in accordance with industrial reforms, their prosperity in the first part of the nineteenth century, and their new and complex image in the Soviet era - are emphasized. Their most evident features are: strict organization, rationalism, only one function - serving the plant, ethos of hard work, closed or even secret territories. Nowadays monocities in Russia and in the Urals in particular are in very bad condition. The causes of it are various: industrial crisis, absence of imperial ideology, tendency to be the part of the open society and others. In this text, there are some ideas and reflections about possible ways of using rich cultural inheritance of these places, including description of already existing attempts and establishments.

 Key Words: factory-city, monocity, urban space, architecture, industry, heritage.