Okhta Team

The Okhta team took up the study of the eponymous river, which flows in the North-East of St. Petersburg. One of the main problems was the availability of the Okhta coastline: the outline of its riverbed is hidden behind trees, bushes and thickets of hogweed, which significantly hinders free and safe access to water. As part of the research, the Okhta team analyzed various aspects of the urban planning situation in order to find out how to transform the abandoned space around the river into a comfortable and affordable recreation area for residents of the city and surrounding areas.

Team members:

Team members:

Grekhneva Ekaterina — architect

Esin Konstantin — engineer

Kolesnik Anastasia — artist

Martynenko Anna — artist

Tanaisov Evgeniy — sociologist, urbanist

Shatunova Mariia — sociologist

Stages of team work:

  • Experience the territory, desk research of the territory (history of the place, transport and social infrastructure, PZZ, environmental situation, pedestrian flows, maps of activities and places of attraction of residents, objects of the territory, active communities, problems and potential of the territory)

  • Field research (development of questionnaires and guides, mapping, observation, survey, interviewing)

  • Planning of activities (rafting on the Okhta river, the analysis of accessibility of the coastline from the water, considering options of destruction of hogweed and cleaning of the territory, concept development of the Hogweed Museum, finding artifacts for the Museum, communication with potential lecturers, layout development, site mapping, drafting observation deck)

  • Carrying out activities with the residents (creation of social-media group on Vkontakte, opening of the Hogweed Museum, creation of an interactive layout of the territory, construction of the boat ramp, collecting materials for sound installations with stones and its creation)

Data collection and analysis methods:

  • Mapping the territory
  • Observation
  • Online survey of residents
  • Interview

Events:

  • Picnic
  • Rafting on the Okhta river
  • Testing of hogweed control products
  • Opening of the Hogweed Museum
  • Meeting with local residents and creating an interactive layout of the territory

What has been done?

The Okhta team paid a lot of attention to the research part, so the team members got a comprehensive view of the territory and neighboring areas. However, the participants note that at this stage they did not have enough communication with the residents and their involvement in the research process was not enough. Therefore, in the future, the Okhta team plans to achieve greater interaction with locals in order to jointly create a public space project on the Okhta river bank.