Active population – factor of village development

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Meeting with local people

26–28 of August the International scientific and practical seminar “Conservation and development of rural settlements with wooden buildings. Community participation and organization of partnerships” was conducted.

The seminar was held during 3 days in Petrozavodsk, on Kizhi Island and in the villages of Kizhi area. More than 60 persons from Karelia, Vologda, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Kargopol, Kazan, Kaluga, Kostroma, Leningradsky district (Bolshiye Gorki village), Minsk (Belarus), Moscow, Oulu (Finland), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Saint-Petersburg, Tyumen, Helsinki (Finland).

The main topic of the seminar – how to involve local people in activity on wooden architecture preservation and make heritage effective factor of territory development. They presented successful experience in revitalization of villages with preservation of historical appearance, implementation of local projects, aimed at usage of historic settlements as educational and tourism objects. All projects have the common feature – successfulness of the project depends on active participation of local community. When people come together and are aware of what they want, they can use local resources effectively and get support from state and municipal programmes.

For example, in Pyalma village (Pudozh district) thanks to Petr Potashev local people were united and all together they repaired many historic houses and even built the bridge across the river. And they did not spend a lot of money. Petr Potashev did not pursue economical goals , he only wanted his native village regain its historical appearance. Никаких крупных денежных вливаний не потребовалось. Results of collaborative work came soon – young people started to come back to the village, working places are appeared. Now Petr Potashev plans to “hide” electrical power network underground and then the native village will gain historical image.

In Leningrad district, by efforts of the village head - Marina Razumova – Bolshie Gorki village been has transformed during 10 years. Instead of deserted village they now have asphalt road, repaired houses, developed area. All these changes were made at the expense of regional and municipal programmes, in which local people took an active part. As a result business came to the village – sport facilities and small production are appeared. There are no unused land at all. Local people prefer not to come to Saint-Petersburg to work but earn money in the village/ The project of the bid park is ready. What for? For the soul.

In Vologa, businessman German Yakimov bought the house for the flower shop. Unexpectedly for him the house was recognized as a monument of architecture. Businessmen restored the house by all rules. The businessman was obsessed with the process, and reconstruction of old houses in the native town became his second profession. German Yakimov together with the best specialists from Vologda and Russia has already restored 4 buildings and 2 are being restored. The motivation is not business, the main goal is preservation of historical heritage of Vologda city.

Of course, there are such caring inhabitants in Zaonezhie. Alexander Rzhanovsky told about the project, mplemented in Sennaya Guba. Repair of the passengers pier allowed social voyages to come to the village, what is very important for local people.

During the third day of the seminar participant visited villages of Kizhi area to explore perspectives of the territory development. The main problems here is infrastructure: not all of the villages have electricity. Besides that, they can get the place only by water, but regular transport communication is presented only by social voyages of hydrofoils, but not every day.

On the meeting of Kurgenitsy village inhabitants, participants of the seminar discussed a few options how to solve “the hottest” problems. The representative of the Accusation of Territorial Public Self-Government – Natalia Kolokolnikova – offered to create the organization of territorial public self-government and take part in the regional programmes of local projects, in which the winners can get 500 thousand roubles for development of own settlements (from digging of wells and construction of roads, to playgrounds and sport grounds).

The guests also visited Vorobji village, where local people want to create the museum of the village. The creation of the museum will let village preserve its historic look and attract tourists.

These meetings were very useful for locals. They could hear about experience and recommendations from common people, which wanted and made a lot for their villages. Real examples and practical tools were discussed.