УДК 908



Original article


The Organization of the Urban Space of Penza in the 1940s — 1980s as a Factor in the Formation of Regional Identity

Gushchin A. A., Yagov O. V.



Introduction. The study of the formation of regional identity is one of the most relevant areas of modern historiography. The mental image of the living space of a local community is inextricably linked with the organization, design and use of urban space. In addition, it is one of the factors in the formation of regional identity and territorial integration. The purpose of the study is to analyze the policy of local authorities on the organization of urban space in Penza in the 1940s — 1980s its influence on the formation of the mental image of living space among the population.

The materials and methods. The research is based on the use of archival sources, periodical materials, memoirs of contemporaries, as well as the results of the survey. The research is based on the principles of historicism, objectivity and consistency. In addition to general scientific methods (analysis, synthesis, generalization), the analysis of materials was carried out using the historical-system method.

Results and discussion. The question of the connection of the concept of “Small homeland” with the territorial perception and organization of space is analyzed. The main factors influencing the deve­lopment of the urban space of Penza in the 1940s — 1980s are considered. The main principles and directions of the policy of local authorities on the organization and design of urban space, as well as the impact of this policy on the formation of the image of the regional center and the region are revealed.

Conclusion. The organization and design of the urban space of Penza in the 1940s — 1980s was an important direction of the policy of local authorities. This issue was solved comprehensively, while even small details were given great importance. This was due to the fact that the issue of organization, design and use of urban space played an ideological and educational role. An important factor was the rapid growth of the city’s territory and an increase in the number of residents. The successes in creating a peculiar appearance of the city, landscaping were reflected in the perception of the population of their city and region.

Keywords: Penza region, Penza, regional identity, regional policy, territorial integration, improvement, urban space, urban environment

Funding: The research was carried out at the expense of the grant of the Russian Science Foundation № 22-18-20015, https://rscf.ru/project/22-18-20015/

For citation: Gushchin AA, Yagov OV. The Organization of the Urban Space of Penza in the 1940s — 1980s as a Factor in the Formation of Regional Identity. Bulletin of the Research Institute of Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. 2023;15(4):96—106. EDN YAKEYQ




1. Abramov RN. Penza: the Search for a New Image of the City against the Background of Amnesia of the Recent Soviet Past. Labyrinth. Journal of Social and Humanities Research. 2016;(3-4):40—49. (In Russ.)

2. Alexandrova MV. Soviet Discourse in the Socio-Cultural Space of a Historical City (on the Example of Yaroslavl). Yaroslavl Pedagogical Bulletin. 2022;(6):236—243. (In Russ.)

3. Baykalov NS, Tsyrendashiev ZhZh. Features of the External Improvement of the New Cities of Buryatia in the 1950s — 1980s. Power. 2021;29(3):128—133. (In Russ.)

4. City and Village in European Russia: One Hundred Years of Change. Moscow;2001. (In Russ.)

5. Gumenyuk AA. Improvement of the Urban Space of the Administrative Centers of the Lower Volga Region in the Second Half of the 1950s — mid-1980s. Historical Memory in Theory and Socio-Cultural Practice: Facets of Transformations and the Potential of Comprehension. Proceedings of the IX International Scientific Conference. Saratov;2021:343—349. (In Russ.)

6. Desyatkova OV. The Image of a Socialist City in the Cultural Landscape of the Russian Province (a Case Study of Kirov). Theory and Practice of Social Development. 2015;(3):157—160. (In Russ.)

7. Dotsenko AM. Everyday Life of the Soviet City of the Early 1950s — the First Half of the 1980s Based on the Materials of Kuibyshev and the Cities of the Kuibyshev Region. Abstract dis. … Cand. of Hist. Sci. Samara;2007. (In Russ.)

8. Ilyin AYu. Urbanization and Urban Economy: Development of Communal Infrastructure in the Provincial Centers of Russia (XVIII — XX Centuries). Tambov;2016. (In Russ.)

9. Ilyin AYu. The Combination of Natural and Planned Beginnings in the Development of Urban Space (a Case Study of Penza, Ryazan and Tambov). Klio. 2015;(2):131—135. (In Russ.)

10. Kasatkina A. To the Poetics and Practice of Modern Urbanism: “Garden City” as a Technology of Social Integration in Obninsk of the 1960s. Laboratory: Journal of Social Research. 2022;(1):30—59. (In Russ.)

11. Makarova NN. International Scientific Conference “Socialist City And Socio-Cultural Aspects of Urbanization”. Humanitarian and Pedagogical Research. 2017;1(1):149—153. (In Russ.)

12. Makhaev VB. Along to the Moscovskaya Street Architectural Walk around the Historic Center of Penza. Center and Periphery. 2015;(2):44—50. URL: http://niign.ru/centrandperifirya/2-2015.pdf (In Russ.)

13. Senyavsky AS. Russian City in the 1960s — 80s. Moscow;1995. (In Russ.)

14. Sokolova EV. Commemorative Practices as a Way of Forming the Image of a Small Town in the Soviet Period (a Case Study of Small Towns of the Middle Irtysh Region). Historical Bulletin. 2021;4(4):80—85. (In Russ.)

15. Suldina LV. Historical and Architectural Environment of Mordovian Towns: from the Past to the Present. Bulletin of the Research Institute of the Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. 2020;(1):128—134. URL: http://niign.ru/nauchnie-jurnaly/vestnik-niign-1,2020.pdf (In Russ.)


The article was submitted 19.07.2023; approved after reviewing 01.09.2023; accepted for publication 08.09.2023.


Information about the authors:

Alexander A. Gushchin, Director of the Center for the Study of the History of the Penza Region of the Institute of Regional Development of the Penza Region (40 Popova Str., Penza 440046, Russia), Candidate of Historical Sciences, Alone-87@yandex.ru

Oleg V. Yagov, Professor of Department of History of Russia and Methods of Teaching History of Penza State University (37 Lermontova Str., Penza 440026, Russia), Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Researcher ID: S-4141-2016, ORCID: https://orcid.org//0000-0003-2053-2533, yago-vdom@mail.ru


Contribution of the authors:

Gushchin A. A. — concept development, methodology development, material collection and analysis, text writing;

Yagov O. V. — organization of the survey and analysis of the results.


Conflict of interests: the authors declare no conflict of interests.


The authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.