Abstract

This article examines the processes of formation of urban space in terms of social segregation and its evolution. The processes of segregation, separation into elite and the ordinary residential areas, had already started in the space of the Soviet city but were rather implicit, whereas in the post-Soviet city they are becoming more and more manifest. Factors and mechanisms producing elite residential areas are analyzed on the example of Victory Avenue, Ulan-Ude, which is a significant component of the architectural center of the city, a monumental symbol of the Victory in the World War II. In the process of analysis the authors used the data of semi-formal interviews conducted with the residents of the avenue as well as other citizens. Among the basic constructs of elitism the authors consider: the salient geographic and aesthetic characteristics of the landscape of Victory Avenue, a personal contribution of prominent residents of the Avenue, the reproduction of political and economic urban elite gravitating to places of work located in the center, the concentration of cultural and historical sites. At the beginning of the 1990s the privatization triggered a high demand for the prestigious housing. The price for an apartment on the avenue capitalized on the right to feel on a par with the Soviet elite. In Post-Soviet period Victory Avenue lost its status as the only elite residential area in the city. There were broader transformations of the city: its economic zone, infrastructure, logistics, cultural and consumer areas radically changed. In the new spatial scheme “New Prospect”, if not the same by social origin and occupations of its residents, but preserving former lifestyle and commitment to the historical and cultural center of the city still holds the status of an elite residential area.

Keywords: urban space segmentation, social segregation, identity, elitism