Global Cities versus Rustbelt Realities: The Dilemmas of Urban Development in Russia
Following the argument of urban geographers that “superstar” cities are the engines of economic growth in a globalized era, Kremlin advisor Aleksei Kudrin and others have argued that Russia should invest in a handful of major cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg. That advice has now become part of official government planning. In stark contrast to the developed world, however, Russia's population is not concentrated in a few urban centers, but in several hundred medium-sized cities and towns, many distributed across Russia's vast territory, often far from other metropolitan agglomerations. These include more than a hundred officially-designated “monotowns,” whose fate is dependent on a single industry, which the government ranks according to the severity of their “socio-economic conditions.” This paper will explore the dilemmas faced by monotowns in particular, and the challenge to authorities of balancing the need for new economic growth from urban metropolises against preventing social unrest in declining industrial communities.
Crowley, Stephen. 2020. "Global Cities versus Rustbelt Realities: The Dilemmas of Urban Development in Russia." Slavic Review 79(2): 365-389.
Cambridge University Press
Russian and East European Studies