Saint Petersburg Dam

The Saint Petersburg Flood Prevention Facility Complex[1] (Russian: Ко́мплекс защи́тных сооруже́ний Санкт-Петербу́рга от наводне́ний, tr. kómpleks zashchítnykh sooruzhéniy Sankt-Peterbúrga ot navodnéniy), unofficially the Saint Petersburg Dam, is a 25 km (16 mi) complex of dams for flood control near Saint Petersburg, Russia. The dam extends from Lomonosov northward to Kotlin Island (and the city of Kronstadt), then turns east toward Cape Lisiy Nos near Sestroretsk.

The complex is intended to protect Saint Petersburg from storm surges by separating the Neva Bay from the rest of the Gulf of Finland. Historically, the storm surges from the gulf had caused over 300 floods in the city, several of which had a massive devastating effect. The dam has the capability to protect the city from water rising up to 5 m (16 ft).[2] Its first use to hold back the incoming Baltic water into Neva bay took place 28 November 2011 and had resulted in decrease of water rise to 1.3 masl, that is below flood level equal to 1.6 masl according to Baltic system of coordinates,[3] which prevented the 309th flood in the history of the city and saved some 1.3 billion roubles of possible damages.[4]

The construction of the flood prevention complex started in 1978 and became one of the longest construction projects in Russia. After a protracted halt in the 1990s and early 2000s, construction was resumed in 2005 due to the intervention of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a native of Saint Petersburg. Putin finally inaugurated the finished complex in 2011,[2][5] when all the facilities at the southern part of the dam were completed, along with the 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long underwater roadway tunnel below the main southern lock, the longest undersea tunnel in Russia.[6]

Over 30 water purification installations are placed around the dam, a part of a larger program to clean the water in the Neva Bay.[2] The dam tunnel is also the last completed part of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road. The northern and southern parts of the dam act like two giant bridges and provide an easy access from mainland to Kotlin Island and Kronstadt.

Водопропускные дамбы СПб
A part of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road over the dam
External video
Video on YouTube demonstrating closed S-1 gates in the time of storm in 27–28 December 2011


Схема комплекса защитных сооружений Санкт-Петербурга от наводнений
Plan of the Saint-Petersburg dam

The dam spans the Gulf of Finland, with the island of Kotlin (Kronstadt) at its centre. It extends for 25.4 km (15.8 mi) and stands 8 m (26 ft) above sea level. It incorporates two large openings for shipping, which can be closed when floods threaten. Construction began in 1980 but stalled in the Russian political and economic upheavals of the 1990s; it resumed many years later and finally ended in 2011. The main benefit that most people cite is not flood control but rather improved traffic flow, as the dam completes the Saint Petersburg Ring Road.

Floods on the Neva

Saint Petersburg suffers from frequent floods (more than 340 in recorded history), some being natural disasters. It is situated on drained marshlands, isles and lowlands in the estuary of the Neva River, where flooding is common. Flow from Lake Ladoga is significant and the Neva's current is rapid, but flooding is generally caused by water backing up the Neva from its outlet, the Gulf of Finland. Most rivers flood in periods of exceptionally high flow, but the Neva typically floods in late autumn.[7]

In the early literature, high winds from the Gulf of Finland were often cited as the cause of Neva flooding, but scientists now understand the more complex hydrometeorological chain of events behind it. A low-pressure region in the North Atlantic moves onshore, giving rise to cyclonic lows on the Baltic Sea. The low pressure of the cyclone draws greater-than-normal quantities of water into the virtually land-locked Baltic. As the cyclone continues inland, long low-frequency[8] seiche waves are established in the Baltic. When the waves reach the narrow and shallow Neva Bay, they become much higher, ultimately breaching the Neva embankments.[9]

The worst such flood occurred on 19 November 1824, when the water level rose 4.21 m (13.8 ft) above normal. The playwright Alexander Griboyedov wrote, "The embankments of the various canals had disappeared and all the canals had united into one. Hundred-year-old trees in the Summer Garden were ripped from the ground and lying in rows, roots upward." When the waters receded 569 people were dead, with thousands more injured or made ill – more than 300 buildings had been washed away. The 1824 inundation is the setting for Alexander Pushkin's famous poem, The Bronze Horseman (1834). Other disastrous floods took place in 1777 and 1924. One of the most recent floods occurred on 18–19 October 1998, when the water level rose to 2.2 m (7.2 ft).[10]


St petersburg dam
The dam seen from the north (2005)

For years, prominent scientists and statesmen of imperial Russia developed various plans for flood protection, and the Soviet Union implemented the idea. The flood of 1955 finally made it clear that the city needed a protective dam. Many options were considered before the Soviet government decided on a 25.4 km (15.8 mi) complex of 11 dams, including a six-lane highway on the top.

The project was begun in 1979, and construction continued through 1995, at which point the dam was around 70% complete, when due to difficulties obtaining financing after the fall of the Soviet Union the project was suspended until 2005, when President Vladimir Putin ordered its resumption.[11][12] Construction was completed in 2011, and the formal opening of the complex was on 12 August 2011.[11] At the opening ceremony, Putin said that the completion of the project was a "historic event" and meant that Saint Petersburg "is not just protected from floods, the ecological situation also improved."[11]

The entire project cost roughly 109 billion rubles ($3.85 billion),[12] and resulted in a series of eleven separate dams measuring 25 kilometres (16 mi) across the Gulf of Finland.[11] Built into the structure are two openings to allow ships to pass through, six gates that can be closed to hold back water, and about 30 facilities for purifying water flowing into the gulf.[11] It took 42 hm3 (55,000,000 cu yd) of stone and soil, 2 hm3 (2,600,000 cu yd) of reinforced concrete and about 100,000 tonnes (110,000 short tons) of steel structures and other materials to build the dam. The project was designed and implemented by over 100 scientific and design institutions, construction companies and suppliers of materials and equipment.


The dam during construction
Lock No. 2 of the Saint Petersburg Dam

Opponents have raised concerns and staged demonstrations during construction of the dam. The main concerns relate to water quality and impact on historically significant sites.

Water quality

Dam's opponents fear that the dam will constrain water flow, accumulating polluted water inside the dam.[13] Damming an estuary and altering its flow pattern generates a number of physical and biological impacts; the disruption of the normal flow obstructs natural current and affects the water’s habitat. The 60 canals and rivers that flow through Saint Petersburg will all discharge into the dammed area. Currently the Neva’s water is good enough to serve as a source for drinking water.

To address the problem of water pollution, the city's government adopted a plan to upgrade the city's sewage system to limit the amount of untreated wastewater release to less than 0.1%. The measures being taken seem to be quite efficient – after the launch of modern long-awaited South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2006 the amount of biological and phosphate waste is expected to be lowered by 60% and 25%, respectively. Over 30 water purification installations are placed around the complex, a part of a larger effort to clean the water in the Neva Bay.[2]

World Heritage Site impacts

The dam passes through the historic Northern Forts of Kronstadt, which is a World Heritage Site.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Before 2003 when construction resumed after a 15-year pause, the dam was officially called the "Leningrad Flood Prevention Facility Complex"
  2. ^ a b c d St. Petersburg gets protecting dam Voice of Russia
  3. ^ (in Russian) Мощнейший ураган и наводнение накрыли Петербург: вода угрожает городу (ВИДЕО), Главред, 28 November 2011
  4. ^ Дирекция КЗС: Дамба предотвратила ущерб в 1,3 млрд рублей (in Russian)
  5. ^ Saint Petersburg Dam official site (in Russian)
  6. ^ Ship opening S-1 at (in Russian)
  7. ^ B. P. Usanov, Dialog between the city and the sea (in Russian), Leningrad: Knowledge Society Publishing House, 1989
  8. ^ Waves with wavelengths up to several hundred kilometers.
  9. ^ This is similar to a tidal bore, where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river via a broad bay. The funnel-like shape increases the height of the tide above normal, and the flood appears as a relatively rapid increase in the water level.
  10. ^ K.I.Krasnoborodko et al., The development of water supply and sewerage systems in Saint Petersburg, in European Water Management, Volume 2, Number 4, 1999
  11. ^ a b c d e "Putin attends inauguration of St. Petersburg flood protection dam". RIA Novosti. 12 August 2011. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Russia completes Soviet-era dam in St Petersburg". Reuters India. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  13. ^ Baltic Marine Environment Commission Archived 14 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.


External links

Coordinates: 59°59′32″N 29°41′46″E / 59.99222°N 29.69611°E

Bolshoy Obukhovsky Bridge

The Bolshoi Obukhovsky Bridge (Russian: Большо́й Обу́ховский мост, Bolshoy Obukhovsky most) is the newest (not taking into account the Blagoveshchensky Bridge rebuilt in 2007) bridge across the Neva River in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is also the only bridge across the Neva which is not a drawbridge.

It is located in Nevsky District, in the middle stream of the Neva. It connects Obukhovskaya Oborona Prospekt with Oktyabrskaya Embankment. It is a cable-stayed bridge; the steel wire ropes are the key element of supporting construction.

The bridge is located in a part of the Neva that is difficult to navigate as the Neva bends after it. Interchanges are with the Oktyabrskaya Embankment on the east end and Obukhovskaya Oborona Prospekt on the west end. The first is built on thus far unoccupied right bank of the Neva, while the second one is complex to meet the design requirement that it could be squeezed into tiny plot of land between residential buildings on Rabfak Street and Obukhovskaya Oborona Prospekt. Also, there are a tram line and the railroad line from Obukhovo station to Obukhov State Plant located there.

The full length of the bridge passage is 2824 m, including 382 m long main span and ramps. The height of the main span is 30 meters.

The first part of the bridge was opened on 15 December 2004. It is an important part of Saint Petersburg Ring Road.

It was the first time in the history of the city when the name of the bridge was chosen by a referendum among residents of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast. Among suggested names were, for example, "Olga Berggolts Bridge" and others. The bridge is named after the nearby Obukhovsky Okrug, considering that there is Obukhovsky Bridge in Saint Petersburg already.

On 19 October 2007 a "twin bridge" of Bolshoi Obukhovsky Bridge, the second 4-lane part of it, was opened.

Cyclone Dagmar

Cyclone Dagmar (also referred to as Cyclone Tapani in Finland) and as Cyclone Patrick by the Free University of Berlin) was a powerful European windstorm which swept over Norway on Christmas Day 2011, causing severe damage in central coastal areas, before continuing over the Scandinavian peninsula towards the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. The storm caused $45 million (2011 USD) in damage.

Flood barrier

A flood barrier, surge barrier or storm surge barrier is a specific type of floodgate, designed to prevent a storm surge or spring tide from flooding the protected area behind the barrier. A surge barrier is almost always part of a larger flood protection system consisting of floodwalls, levees (also known as dikes), and other constructions and natural geographical features.

Flood barrier may also refer to barriers placed around or at individual buildings to keep floodwaters from entering that building.

Floods in Saint Petersburg

Floods in Saint Petersburg refer to a rise of water on the territory of St. Petersburg, a major city in Russia and its former capital. They are usually caused by the overflow of the delta of Neva River and surging water in the eastern part of Neva Bay but sometimes caused by melting snow. Floods are registered when the water rises above 160 cm with respect to a gauge at the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute. More than 300 floods have occurred since the city was founded in 1703.The construction of Saint Petersburg Dam, started in 1978 and completed in 2011, is expected to protect the city from devastating floods. The dam is the last completed part of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road. Its first use to hold back the incoming Baltic water into Neva bay took place 28 November 2011 and had resulted in decrease of water rise to 1.3 MASL, that is below flood level equal to 1.6 masl, which prevented the 309th flood in the history of the city and saved some 1.3 billion roubles of possible damage.

Geography of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject located in Northwestern Federal District of Russia. It stands on the Neva River at the east end of the Gulf of Finland (part of the Baltic Sea).

The area of the city of Saint Petersburg proper is 605.8 km². As a federal subject Saint Petersburg contains, besides Saint Petersburg proper, a number of towns (Kolpino, Krasnoye Selo, Kronstadt, Lomonosov, Pavlovsk, Petergof, Pushkin, Sestroretsk and Zelenogorsk), 21 municipal settlements, as well as rural localities. The total territory of the federal subject as of 2015 comprises 1439 km².

The federal subject and city of Saint Petersburg is situated on the middle taiga lowlands along the shores of the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland, along the shores of the lower reaches of the River Neva itself and on the numerous islands of the river delta.

To the north of the city lies the Karelian Isthmus, a popular summer resort area for its citizens, while in the south Saint Petersburg crosses the Baltic-Ladoga Klint and meets the Izhora Plateau.

The elevation of Saint Petersburg ranges from the sea level to its highest point of 175.9 m (577') at the Orekhovaya hill in the Duderhof Heights in the south. However, the historical city center (except the area between Liteyny Prospekt and Smolnaya Embankment) is situated lower than 4 m and has suffered from flooding about 300 times in its history. Floods in Saint Petersburg are triggered by long waves in the Baltic Sea, developing regularly under some meteorological conditions and amplified by favorable winds and by the shallowness of the Neva Bay. The most disastrous floods occurred in 1824 (421 cm above sea-level), 1924 (380 cm), 1777 (321 cm), 1955 (293 cm) and 1975 (281 cm.). The Saint Petersburg Dam, built to prevent floods, was completed in August 2011 after a lengthy period of construction beginning in 1979.Since the 18th century the terrain in the city centre has been steadily raised artificially, at some places by more than 4 m. The hydrology of the city center and the number of islands have also changed dramatically.

Besides the Neva and its distributaries, other important rivers of the federal subject of Saint Petersburg include:

the Sestra

the Okhta

the IzhoraThe largest lake is Sestroretsky Razliv in the north, outside of the limits of Saint Petersburg proper. Lakhtinsky Razliv and Suzdal Lakes are smaller lakes within the northern limits of the city.

St. Petersburg's position on a latitude of ca. 60° N, less than seven degrees to the south of the Arctic Circle, leads to a huge variation in day length across seasons, ranging from 5:53 to 18:50, and causes twilight to last all night in early summer, from June to mid-July - the celebrated phenomenon known as the white nights.

Gorskaya road interchange

Gorskaya road interchange is a traffic intersection providing mutual crossing of two highways, one street and a trunk-railway in different levels.

Traffic intersection building has carried out Open Society «Mostostroitelny trest № 6» (holding "GSK") in 1999-2001.The outcome connects among themselves Saint Petersburg Ring Road with an exit on Saint Petersburg Dam and highway M10.

As a part of outcome Saint Petersburg Ring Road passes over Sestroretsk line and Bolshaya Gorskaya street; Under overhead Saint Petersburg Ring Road settles down Gorskaya railway station.

Gulf of Finland

The Gulf of Finland (Finnish: Suomenlahti; Estonian: Soome laht; Russian: Фи́нский зали́в, tr. Finskiy zaliv, IPA: [ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif]; Swedish: Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland (to the north) and Estonia (to the south) all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn. The eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland belong to Russia, and some of Russia's most important oil harbours are located farthest in, near Saint Petersburg (including Primorsk). As the seaway to Saint Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland has been and continues to be of considerable strategic importance to Russia. Some of the environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea are at their most pronounced in the shallow gulf.

Kotlin Island

Kotlin (Котлин) (or Kettle), is a Russian island, located near the head of the Gulf of Finland, 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Saint Petersburg in the Baltic Sea. Kotlin separates the Neva Bay from the rest of the gulf. The fortified city of Kronstadt is located on the island. The island serves as a gateway to Saint Petersburg and as such has been the site of several military engagements.


Kronstadt (Russian: Кроншта́дт, translit. Kronštádt [krɐnˈʂtat]), also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt or Kronštádt (from German: Krone for "crown" and Stadt for "city"; Estonian: Kroonlinn) is an early 18th-century foundation which became an important international centre of commerce whose trade role was eclipsed by the growth of its strategic significance in the ensuing centuries as the primary maritime defence outpost of the former Russian capital. It is now the port city in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, near the head of the Gulf of Finland. It is linked to the former Russian capital by a combination levee-causeway-seagate, the St Petersburg Dam, part of the city's flood defences, which also acts as road access to Kotlin island from the mainland. In March 1921, the island city was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion.

The main base of the Russian Baltic Fleet was located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site that is Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.

Kronstadt has been a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians for many years due to the memory of Saint John of Kronstadt.

Lisy Nos

Lisy Nos (Russian: Лисий Нос; literally, "fox's nose"; Finnish: Revonnenä) is a municipal settlement in Primorsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on the cape of the same name in the northern part of the Kronstadt Bay. Population: 4,759 (2010 Census); 2,563 (2002 Census).The settlement originated in the mid-19th century as a dacha village near a coastal fort, or redoubt, designed to defend St. Petersburg from the projected British raid during the Crimean War. The Primorsky Railway (1871) runs through the settlement. It is the site of the Lisiy Nos railway station. The Saint Petersburg Dam runs south from Lisy Nos toward Kotlin Island.

MEVA Schalungs-Systeme

MEVA Formwork Systems is a worldwide producer of formwork systems. Headquartered in Germany under the name MEVA Schalungs-System GmbH, the MEVA group has 40 subsidiaries, plants and logistics centers on 5 continents.


The Maeslantkering is a storm surge barrier on the Nieuwe Waterweg, in South Holland, Netherlands. Controlled by a supercomputer, it automatically closes when Rotterdam is threatened by floods. Part of the Delta Works, it is one of largest moving structures on Earth, rivalling the Green Bank Telescope in the United States and the Bagger 288 excavator in Germany.

Navigation Pass S-1 of Saint Petersburg Dam

The Navigation Pass S-1 of Saint Petersburg Dam is a storm surge barrier in the eastern part of the Finnish Gulf to the south of the island of Kotlin, Russia. It is part of a waterway from the Baltic Sea to Saint Petersburg located at eastern end of Neva Bay. The scheme of S-1 is similar to the Maeslantkering barrier in the Netherlands and consists of two submersible caissons with dimensions 125×22 metres, which are used to close the navigable channel and thus stop storm tides from proliferating into Neva Bay. The channel is 200 metres wide and 16 metres deep. The Saint Petersburg Ring Road crosses it via an underwater tunnel.

The construction of the S-1 began in 1984. The S-1 gates were commissioned for exploitation in the middle of 2011. Their first use for the city protection against storm surges happened on 27 November of the same year.

Neva Bay

The Neva Bay (Russian: Не́вская губа́, Névskaya Gubá), also known as the Gulf of Kronstadt, is the easternmost part of the Gulf of Finland between Kotlin Island and the Neva River estuary where Saint Petersburg city centre is located. It has a surface area of 329 km2 (127 sq mi). The entire bay has been separated from the Gulf of Finland by the 25 km long Saint Petersburg Dam. The area of water separated by the dam is 380 km2 (150 sq mi). The entire coastline is designated part of St. Petersburg rather than of Leningrad Oblast.

The bay is also informally known as "the Marquis' Puddle" after Jean Baptiste, marquis de Traversay, the Russian naval minister who regarded the shallow waters of the bay as an ideal place for holding naval exercises. The Saint Petersburg Dam separates the bay from the Baltic Sea.

Saint Petersburg Ring Road

The Saint Petersburg Ring Road is a 142 km (88 mile) orbital freeway encircling Saint Petersburg, Russia. The city's only beltway, it is listed in the Russian road numbering system as federal public highway A-118.


A seiche ( SAYSH) is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, bays, harbours and seas. The key requirement for formation of a seiche is that the body of water be at least partially bounded, allowing the formation of the standing wave.

The term was promoted by the Swiss hydrologist François-Alphonse Forel in 1890, who was the first to make scientific observations of the effect in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The word originates in a Swiss French dialect word that means "to sway back and forth", which had apparently long been used in the region to describe oscillations in alpine lakes.

Seiches in harbours can be caused by long period or infragravity waves, which are due to subharmonic nonlinear wave interaction with the wind waves, having periods longer than the accompanying wind-generated waves.

Storm surge

A storm surge, storm flood, tidal surge or storm tide is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems (such as tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones), the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, as well as the timing of tides. Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur as the result of storm surges. It is a measure of the rise of water beyond what would be expected by the normal movement related to tides.

The two main meteorological factors contributing to a storm surge are a long fetch of winds spiraling inward toward the storm, and a low-pressure-induced dome of water drawn up under and trailing the storm's center.

Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier prevents the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea. Built approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) due east of the Isle of Dogs, its northern bank is in Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham and its southern bank is in the New Charlton area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Valentina Matviyenko

Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko (Russian: Валенти́на Ива́новна Матвие́нко, IPA: [vəlʲɪnˈtʲinə ɪˈvanəvnə mətvʲɪˈjɛnkə], Ukrainian: Валентина Іванівна Матвієнко, (née Tyutina (Тю́тина; IPA: [ˈtʲʉtʲɪnə], Ukrainian: Тютіна); born 7 April 1949) is a Russian politician serving as the Senator from Saint Petersburg and Chairwoman of the Federation Council since 2011. Previously she was Governor of Saint Petersburg from 2003 to 2011.

Born in Ukraine, Matviyenko started her political career in the 1980s in Leningrad (now called Saint Petersburg), and was the First Secretary of the Krasnogvardeysky District Communist Party of the City from 1984 to 1986. In the 1990s, Matviyenko served as the Russian Ambassador to Malta (1991–1995), and to Greece (1997–1998). From 1998 to 2003, Matviyenko was Deputy Prime Minister for Welfare, and briefly the Presidential Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District in 2003. By that time, Matviyenko was firmly allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin, an alliance which secured her a victory in the gubernatorial elections in Saint Petersburg, Putin's native city.

Matviyenko became the first female leader of Saint Petersburg. Since the start of Matviyenko's service as governor, a significant share of taxation money was transferred from the federal budget to the local budget, and along with the booming economy and improving investment climate the standard of living significantly increased in the City, making income levels much closer to Moscow, and far above most other Russian federal subjects. The profile of Saint Petersburg in Russian politics has risen, marked by the transfer of the Constitutional Court of Russia from Moscow in 2008.

Matviyenko developed a large number of megaprojects in housing and infrastructure, such as the construction of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road, including the Big Obukhovsky Bridge (the only non-draw bridge over the Neva River in the city), completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam aimed to put an end to the infamous Saint Petersburg floods, launching Line 5 of Saint Petersburg Metro, and starting land reclamation in the Neva Bay for the new Marine Facade of the city (the largest European waterfront development project) containing the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg. Several major auto-producing companies were drawn to Saint Petersburg or its vicinity, including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai Motor, Suzuki, Magna International, Scania, and MAN SE (all having plants in the Shushary industrial zone), thus turning the city into an important center of automotive industry in Russia, specializing in foreign brands. Another development of Matviyenko's governorship was tourism; by 2010 the number of tourists in Saint Petersburg doubled and reached 5.2 million, which placed the city among the top five tourist centers in Europe.Some actions and practices of Governor Matviyenko have drawn significant criticisms from the Saint Petersburg public, the media, and opposition groups. In particular, new construction in already heavily built-up areas and several building projects were deemed to conflict with the classical architecture of the city, where the entire centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Some projects eventually were cancelled or modified, such as the controversial design of a 400-metre-tall Okhta Center skyscraper, planned to be built adjacent to the historical center of the city; however, after a public campaign and the personal involvement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, it was relocated from Okhta to the Lakhta suburb. Another major point of criticism was Matviyenko's handling of the city's snow removal problems during the unusually cold and snowy winters of 2009–10 and 2010–11.

On 22 August 2011, soon after completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam, Matviyenko resigned from office. As a member of the ruling United Russia Party, on 21 September 2011, Matviyenko was elected as Chairwoman of the Federation Council, the country's third-highest elected office.

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