During the project, we developed a model for a full-speed study of a city microdistrict. It includes analyzing the following components:
- Initial conditions of the district formation;
- Ideology and history of the development of the district, its topography and toponymy;
- History of key enterprises, organizations, public spaces;
- Local identity, the mood of the place;
- Key personalities, iconic characters;
- Demographic structure of the district, migration map;
- Internal transportation, transport system;
- Interactions with the outside world;
The purpose of the study is to find a formula of the place, specifically the key factors of the unique nature of the territory, elements of the population identity, key phenomena, and social practices that represent the district's features.
The hallmark of the study is a mix of macrohistory (analysis of the place in the context of economic, social, technological, and other factors in the development of a city, country, world) and microhistory (the study of industrial, domestic, social, and cultural practices through the personal experience of residents of the district representing different social strata).
This way we can build a multi-dimensional, multi-level picture of the district, and distinguish the key features of the place that could become the basis for the activation of the cultural space and cultural life of the area.
In addition to the area study matrix, various technologies for collecting private stories of residents were tested during the project. For example, interviewing several old-timers at a time proved very efficient. Such interviews had a form of a bus trip along the route that the district livers chose. This method helped us collect a series of materials that weren't discovered during tête-à-tête or in-room interviews. On the other hand, non-personal communication turned out to be a weak method to collect materials. The so called "memory map" placed in the leading district library attracted little more than 30 stories related to various places of the district, while the historical photography contest had only one participant. Most of the data was obtained within the framework of in-depth, unformalized interviews.
As a result, this experience in Uralmash formed the basis of The City of Seven Districts
project that has been being developed by the Ekaterinburg History Museum from 2016.