Tyumen Embankment: Urban Hubris as a Trigger for the Transformation of Urban Identity
The article discusses the problem of place affecting urban identity formation. The granite-lined embankment of the Tura River becomes a factor in reassembling urban identity and forming new urban sensuousness for the residents of Tyumen. The identity of Tyumen has long oscillated between the provinciality of the “village capital” and the nomadism of the “hub city”, serving as a transit point to service the oil and gas industry. Nowadays, city residents perceive the embankment not only as a sign of Tyumen’s integration into a modern urban context, but also as a metaphor for the escape from the boggy swamp of uncertainty to the terra firma of solid granite. The technological characteristics of the four-tier embankment (its height and length) mark it as an outstanding engineering structure. The visual excessiveness of the embankment, framing the banks of a small river, makes it a source of pride for the citizens. To clarify the process of urban identity formation, the authors introduce the term “urban hubris”. There are multiple connotations of the hubris concept, ranging from “pride” to “transgression of one’s own destiny”. In this article, urban hubris refers not only to specific traits of people initiating megaprojects but to transgressive change in urban identity. This change can be triggered by fundamentally new strategies in city design or, as in this case, by a large-scale urban development project, conveying new city images, creating new public spaces, changing citizens’ daily practices, and, ultimately, transforming their urban identity.