Large cities as epicenters of social and economic dynamics of southern macroregion: the first quarter of the 21st century

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The article analyzes demographic, migration, social and economic dynamics of large cities in the South of Russia at the beginning of the 21st century. It is concluded that this period was characterized bythe process of metropolization of the urban network, associated with the rapid development of administrative centers, which concentrated a significant share of financial resources, investments, trade, services, and the real estate market in their regions. The share of the regional capitals in these segments of social and economic activity significantly exceeded their share in the population. Other large cities took an intermediate position between the administrative centers and the rest of the territory of their regions, although in many respects they were noticeably closer to the latter. The exception was the large resort centers of the Black Sea region, whose rapid growth was determined their general recreational potential. The largest social and economic centers of the South of Russia are currently Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, which together account for about 25-35% of fixed assets, investments, retail trade turnover, and commissioned housing in the macroregion. Volgograd remains the leading industrial center of the South of Russia. However Volgograd has not fully realized its significant social and demographic potential in modern economic clusters. Among the other large cities of the macroregion, two subgroups can be distinguished. They unite centers comparable in their complex social and economic potential. The first group includes Astrakhan, Sochi, and Sevastopol. The second one consists of Novorossiysk, Simferopol, Volzhsky, and Taganrog. The spatial asymmetry of the group of large cities in the southern macro-region continued to increase in the post-Soviet period: 2/3 of them are currently located at a distance of up to 100 km from the coast of the Black or Azov Seas, forming a zone of advanced development of the South of Russia. In the next 10-15 years, only the Black Sea centers of the Kuban and Crimea, Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don with the satellite city of Bataysk, can show demographic growth.


South of Russia, large cities, epicenters of development, social and demographic potential, social and economic dynamics

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IDR: 149141724   |   DOI: 10.15688/re.volsu.2022.4.11

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