Actual problems of complex development of historical cities, which nowadays should take into account the requirements of preservation and protection of architectural monuments, valuable urban environment, and in some cases use potential of recreation of landscapes of historical zones, are considered. The methods for improving the functional and spatial organization of the development in the improvement of historic districts of different morphotypes, the reserves of effective use of the territory, the possibility of reducing the proportion of paved surfaces and landscaping improvement, and other results of the improvement are shown. It is proven that among the problems which should be solved in the projects for the improvement of historic areas of cities along with the replacement or repair of pavement, reconstruction of lighting systems, landscaping, the full reconstruction and relaying of engineering networks, as well as measures to improve the geo-ecological conditions of the territory, protection of architectural monuments from waterlogging and other unfavorable geological processes should be designed. The need for new approaches and methods in the improvement of historic areas, which in the future should form the core of a specialized design methodology that uses interdisciplinary scientific and design research and justification, was substantiated. The research was carried out in 2014–2021 at OOO “IGBI” and in 2019–2020 at the TsNIIP Ministry of Russia under the plan of basic research of the RAACS and based on the analysis of the authors' experience at scientific survey and design of beautification in the historic areas of Moscow in 2014–2021 in numerous projects carried out by OOO “Alfamik”, OOO “PB CRIS”, OOO “Piramida”, most of which are implemented.