One of the challenges of contemporary landscape architecture is the globalisation of place. Nowhere is the threat of homogenisation more apparent than in places vulnerable to change, where the potential loss of heritage fabric rings alarm bells. St. Petersburg is one such place, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a city which had existed outside of the excesses of late 20th-century Westernisation owing to its sequestration inside the Soviet Union. The city is changing in response to exposure to the West, and this could be a cause for concern, a worry that the city will become just another ‘placeless’ place. However, we argue that this is a superficial reading, and that in looking more deeply into the history and culture of St. Petersburg, a legacy of borrowing from elsewhere is revealed. Moreover, the aspirations for global ideals are not necessarily ‘placeless’, as we illustrate through the ways in which St. Petersburg has made the landscapes its own through the invention of tradition and a persistent sense of ‘the local’ which is indelible to change. We use two case studies to explore the dynamics of the global and the local in St. Petersburg: the historic case of the grand palatial grounds of Peterhof, and the modern pedestrianised street of Malaya Sadovaya.