Russian land and territorial factor have huge complexity, country has a scale comparable to the continents. Due to the huge differences in natural-geographical, economic and other conditions in the regions of Russia, regional reproduction processes are unique, their efficiency is a necessary condition for the complex proportional development of the regional economy. The successful development of the region largely depends on the capabilities and ability of the regional administration to make optimal management decisions. The strategic approach finds more and more application in the practice of regional management.
However, the strategic goals of regional development in the long term could be considered theoretically substantiated and practically achievable only when they are worked out in the aspect of municipal districts and urban districts.
It’s on the latter territory, where new production facilities are opened, old ones are modernized and residential complexes with social infrastructure facilities are building. At the same time, the abnormally dispersed nature of manifestations of economic activity in municipal districts and urban districts hinders the formation of a single economic space and the achievement of the strategic development goal of improving the welfare and quality of life of the population in the region.
For better understanding and explanation of the features of the economy and demography of the region, it is necessary to carefully look at the specifics of the settlement of residents across the territory, the network of settlements, their functions and significance in the life of the region, as well as the prospects for settlements. Each region has its own settlement system, which must be taken into account in the process of regional strategic management.
Main feature of the current stage of the settlement process is urbanization, which is a historical process of increasing the role of cities in the development of society, causing changes in the socio-professional and demographic structure of the population, influencing its culture, lifestyle, psychology, etc. Urbanization is a complex the process, and therefore the indicator characterizing this phenomenon, must be hard to acknowledge.
The spontaneous process of urbanization reinforces its negative aspects. Therefore, it seems to us that right now science and practice are faced with the task of turning the spontaneous nature of human settlement in the world into a manageable rational process that meets the interests of the development of material production. This is not a one-time task, but a strategic problem that requires coordination, funds and time.
Modern urbanization is characterized by the predominant development of large and million-strong cities and is one of the factors in the globalization of the world. In developed countries, it acquires the character of the processes of formation of megacities, agglomerations and conurbations. Industrialization and uncontrolled growth led to a sharp deterioration in the environmental situation in large cities, which only the richest regions of the planet could fight.
The main problems of urbanization at the present stage of development are the deterioration of the urban environment, the problem of population, the problem of overcoming backwardness and ensuring sustainable development, the problem of finding alternative environmentally friendly energy sources.
Russia in this context is a significant object of study, since it is a country with a high level of urbanization, about 75% of its population lives in cities and urban-type settlements. Today it has, on the one hand, highly urbanized territories led by million-plus cities and developed agglomerations of smaller sizes, and on the other hand, vast expanses of rural areas, non-urbanized territories, spaces rich in natural resources, which are being developed with enormous transport and other costs.
For Russia, in turn, the main problems of urbanization lie in the uneven distribution of settlements, whose fragmentation is a brake on the social and economic development of the country, predetermines the presence of regressive, subsidized regions and ensures the uneven socio-economic state of the regions, which leads to a significant gap in the quality of life in them.
In recent years, there has been a surge in the development of megacities. Urbanization is one of the global problems, despite the fact that it is a historical process that covers changes in the productive forces distribution, and primarily in the resettlement of the population, its demographic, social and professional structure, life and culture way.
Urbanization is a historical process of increasing cities role, urban lifestyle and urban culture in the social development, associated with the spatial concentration of activities in relatively few centers and preferential socio-economic development areas.
Specifying this definition, which has become too general from the standpoint of modern geourbanistics, two important points should be added to it:
- Wide exit of the city for its official (becoming too tight) borders and the post-city urban systems formation — agglomerations, urbanized areas, megacities;
- A significant change in the person himself in the city, bearing in mind the growing needs diversity, increasing demands on quality, level and lifestyle, changing the system of values, norms of behavior, culture, intelligence, etc.
Urbanization as a complex, dynamic, multifaceted process is the interdisciplinary research subject. Representatives of different sciences, and sometimes even of one science, have their own vision of this process. Therefore, there is still no single generally accepted definition of urbanization.
Bearing in mind the different content that is embedded in the urbanization understanding, two types of its definition are proposed:
- Urbanization in the narrow sense means the growth of cities, especially large ones, an increase in the proportion of the urban population;
- In a broad sense — the historical process of increasing the role of cities, urban lifestyle and urban culture in the development of the city.
Much of the ambiguity in the understanding of urbanization has been greatly contributed to the multifaceted nature of the process, encompassing a variety of problems and aspects of urban development: social, economic, demographic, ethnic, cultural, etc.
The essence of urbanization is the process of the large cities (over 100 thousand inhabitants) development and the large agglomerations and extensive urbanized areas that are formed on their basis, which are the main focuses of territorial development and the main bearers of the properties and modern urbanization characteristics. Therefore, only when city processes are considered in a wider territorial framework than the city, using an agglomeration, an urbanized area and other urban systems, get an idea of the true scale of modern urbanization (Picture 1).
Picture 1 – Urbanization complex
The special importance of studying urbanization is explained by the fact that it is the resultant process that shapes the relationship between man, society and the environment. The most important result, the urbanization measure, is now increasingly recognized by the person himself with the growth of his capabilities, abilities and creativity in the context of the urban value system spread on a global scale.
With the development of human civilization and the growth of its economy, our society has to face more and more problems arising from scientific and technological progress. The more solutions we find, the more social and economic problems arise.
At the same time, global problems affecting all of humanity as a whole pose the main threat to stable development; the further socio-technical progress of humanity and the preservation of civilization depend on their solution.
They are interrelated, cover all aspects of life of people around the world, arise as an objective factor in the development of society and are characterized by a deep interdependence of their economic, political and other aspects. They reflect the deepening and complication of economic interaction within society and the internationalization of all aspects of social life.
The main problems in the field of pathology of urbanization and urban structures: urban underdevelopment, housing problem, the consequences of the division of cities into functional areas, the perception syndrome block complexes. Each socio-economic system organizes space in its inherent way, establishing the attitude to the space of both individuals and social groups.
This organization can be shown as follows: primary space is secondary; personal — public; central – non-central; ritual — secular. Each system establishes relationships within and between each pair. The harmonious nature of these relations determines the orders of space and society.
The minimum condition for the proper development of the individual and society is the establishment of various multiple and informal ties and the possession of a space with qualitative properties that make it possible to assimilate it and ensure the possibility of creative formation of its environment, i.e. apartments 64 and areas around it.
This hypothesis is confirmed by the spontaneous behavior of people and communities, directed against the technical and economic forces, whose desire is to unify both the living space of a person and his behavior.
Urbanization creates a complicated knot of contradictions, the totality of which just serves as a strong argument for considering it from the perspective of globalization. You can highlight the economic, environmental, social and territorial aspects (last selected is rather arbitrary, as it combines all the previous). The economic aspect is that if earlier the industry concentration gave an additional effect («agglomeration effect») due to a combination of opportunities and cooperation, the over-concentration use, then later to the fore were the negative aspects: traffic jams cities, water and energy supply difficulties, ecological problems, social problems associated with underdeveloped infrastructure.
Increasing concern air and water pollution, soil erosion, damage to the animal and vegetable world during the areal development, not enough land use, oil, gas and coal, ores and other mineral or metal fossils.
With the expansion of demand, the demand for various types of raw materials is growing. At the same time, many natural resources, although great, are by no means limitless. By solving problems of land resources rational use and the environment depends health condition, working conditions and living standards, as well as the economic development of society.
In the process of urbanization, there are three stages:
- The first (initial) phase covers mainly the 20-50s. XX century. After the revolution of 1917, the urbanization of the country acquired a turbulent character, and the driving basis for it was the development of industry and related functions. This period is characterized by an increase in the number of cities. According to the 1939 census there were 1114 cities in the period from 1926 to 1937, the share of townspeople increased twofold (from 18 to 33%).
- The second phase is in the second half of the 20th century. This stage is characterized by intensive industrial development of the country in the post-war years. For him it is typical not just to accelerate the growth rates of the urban population, but also the emergence of such new qualitative parameters as the predominant growth of large cities, the formation of urban agglomerations, the spread of urban lifestyle to rural areas, etc.
In total during this period (1950-90s.), the number of cities increased from 877 to 1037 (according to census data, respectively, in 1959-1989), that is, 1.2 times, and the proportion of the urban population increased from 45% to 74% (according to the 1951-1990 census), then there are 1.6 times. Particularly quickly the share of townspeople and the number of cities grew until 1981, then the growth rate slightly decreased. The share of Russian cities in the USSR is 50%. It declines in 1979-89. The share of the urban population of Russia in the USSR is also highlighted. Here it is 60%, but there is a decrease in the proportion of Russian citizens in the USSR 79-89 years. XX century, as well as the share of cities. Thus, about 50% of cities and 60% of the urban population of Russia is allocated to the USSR.
Finally, the third stage in time corresponds to the 1990s. Since 1993, the growth in the number of cities has ceased. There is a tendency to decrease the number of urban population: in 1993 — 108.5 million people, in 2000 — 106.1 million people. The proportion of citizens was 73.3% and 73.1%, respectively. The increase in urban population in the intercensal years 1989-1997 amounted to — 0.8%.
After the recovery of the Russian economy by the mid-2010s, the rate of urban population growth and migration in large agglomerations accelerated due to market reforms and the termination of financing of a distributed network of monocentric enterprises in specially built settlements for them.
Over the last three decades, the population with a low annual growth rate (0–0.3%) in speed of urbanization accounted for 44.13% of the global total population. It is interesting to note that counter-urbanization has been observed in some countries, such as Tajikistan, Andorra et al., despite this type only having the lowest ratio to total population.
In both the scientific analysis and the development practice of developing countries, the correlation of urbanization and economic growth has been a puzzle to many scientists and policy-makers. Some hold that rapid urbanization always brings economic growth.
Others, however, have the distinctly different perception that the two are not necessarily linked. Utilizing the rich empirical data of the last three decades, we will re-examine this puzzle in more detail by distinguishing speed from level and by analyzing cross-sectional data and panel data, respectively.
This stage in Russia is referred to as the «Russian cross». After the economic recovery — the population of the cities began to grow again, and after it began an almost uncontrollable process of urbanization, which began to spread even to small settlements. By now, this process has become more in line with the traditional urbanization criteria, becoming similar to the European (Picture 2)
Picture 2 — Stages of urbanization
In the conditions of the modern scientific and technological revolution, one of the root problems of social development is associated with the growing threat of imbalances between man and nature.
The historical process of world industrialization and urbanization exerts an ever-increasing influence on the ecological situation, reflecting the character of the relationship of a person with his environment at a particular time period.
Researchers argue that the widespread distribution of urbanism can lead to a general violation of the equation between man and nature, if the planning does not take into account the limitations inherent in the biological order of man and in geographical conditions.
The world has experienced an ongoing urbanizing process, and the urbanization level has increased from 39% to 52% in the last three decades as a vast number of people migrate to urban regions. Urban areas play a more important role in national economies worldwide. The urbanization process in developing countries is occurring more dramatically and rapidly compared to that in developed countries.
During the study period, the main distributional range has changed from 60–80% to 70–90% in the higher urbanization groups. Meanwhile, the range of lower urbanization groups has increased from 10–30% to 30–40% and 50–60%.
The relative patterns, however, do not change the fact that developed nations have a higher level of urbanization than developing regions. Moreover, the ratio of urban population of all the countries in the world was greater than 10% in 2010-2020, before the pandemic collapse.
Similar to the Matthew effect, the high urbanization level group often has high levels of GDP per capita, especially in the 0–70% range. The developing countries face a dilemma: after implementing accelerated urbanization to catch up with the developed countries, in 2019 they still had a lower level of GDP per capita than developed countries with the same urbanization level in 1980, in the 40–60% group. Again, the trend of a widening income gap is significant between groups having a high and low urbanization level.
Features of modern urbanization (rest at picture 3):
— intensification and differentiation of urban activities in cities and agglomerations;
— the spread of urban lifestyle outside of urban centers;
— development of agglomerations;
— formation of linear, nodal, strip forms of population settlement;
— increase in the radius of settlement within the agglomerations.
Picture 3 — Characteristics of urbanization
On the one hand, significant correlations of urbanization level with economic development level have been identified in the historic development of any given country, in agreement with the traditional view. On the other hand, no significant correlation has been found between urbanization speed and growth rate of economic indicators in the regression analysis of our rich empirical data set.
Though these differential regression results appear, at first glance, to be confusing and contradictory, they exemplify the real and complex association between urbanization and economic development. In the long run, the increasing level of urbanization is a natural consequence of economic development as many rural populations flow to non-agricultural sectors and urban areas.
Further, urbanization is a complex issue that must be assessed not only in terms of urbanization speed or effects of economic growth. In order to increase the quality of the urbanization process, the forward conditions and backward effects must also be explored. It is suggested that the evaluation of urbanization can be improved from the following two aspects. First, the forward conditions of urbanization can be analyzed, such as the number of non-farm jobs, infrastructure level and the supply capacity of public services.
The theory proposes a number of sources of benefits that are associated with urbanization, they are both on the side of consumers and on the producers’ one. A city is a spatial concentration of population and labor force and, consequently, it increases the number of different consumer markets and related specialized industries. Propensity of consumers to the diversity means that city offering a greater variety of goods and productive resources increases the utility of the consumers. Accordingly, the growth in size of the settlement is associated with growth of consumer welfare.
Producers decrease cost due to the closeness of counterparties provided by the localization of economic activity in a city. Lower transport and transaction costs make it possible to reduce prices, to redirect resources at investment and to the expansion on the new markets. There are goods which can be produced in metropolitan areas only; in this case the production is profitable when significant demand is concentrated in a compact area. Thus, the close location of producers and consumers reduces overall costs, contributes to the effectiveness and creates additional opportunities to expand the size of and to create new markets.
Over the next few decades, urbanization will continue, particularly in Asia and Africa. According to the most recent estimates from the United Nations, two out of three inhabitants in 2050 will live in urban areas (UN 2018). Most of this urban growth will take place in Asia and the West African urban belt, with population growth rates of 3–5 percent per year. However, global data also show that the growth rate of the urban population in the developing world is expected to fall from 3–5 percent per year to under 2 percent per year in 2030. The UN predicts that, by 2050, 65 percent of populations in developing countries and nearly 90 percent of populations in developed countries will live in urban areas.
Trend of the modern development is deepening the specialization and greater dependence on contractors. Active communication between the enterprises in the cities contributes to the establishing clusters and networks which can eliminate the negative effects of intra-industry competition and reduce the risk of inter-firm cooperation. The industrial clusters also give the flexibility in sharing common resources and in reducing operating costs, provide access to a range of specialized infrastructure and service. A city offers opportunities for more efficient use of industrial and social infrastructure, which are generally public goods. Increasing the number of users makes it more profitable and diverse, and reduction of the individual cost stimulates the development. The result is a higher quality of life compared with the peripheral nonurban areas. This is reflected in a more developed system of transport and communications, health and education, culture and leisure industry in cities. Reducing the cost of infrastructure services due to higher population density makes them available, creating additional opportunities for development of human capital and business. The key factors of modern development are innovations, information and knowledge.
The concentration of economic, financial, administrative and human resources improves the conditions for an active exchange of business information, for creation and dissemination of inventions. Innovations are increasingly stimulated by the interactions between different sectors, rather than between firms of the same industry. Therefore, cities are not only more effective, they have advantages in terms of creation and introduction of new ideas and technologies, thus providing impetus to the dynamics of development and to the productivity growth. Innovative development makes special demand for education and science infrastructure. Knowledge, its accessibility and intellectual capital generating innovations have become important factors in improving performance and extending range of new products.
Cities are the places of concentration of higher education and academic research, and the leaders in this area are the biggest cities. Urban infrastructure offers business and institution platforms for the development, its elements are business parks, business incubators, etc. They contribute to the diffusion of innovations; they reduce production cost and period of technological adjustments. However, there is a limitation, which is that the value of innovation is reducing while knowledge is spreading rapidly among other firms. Cities are characterized by more advanced and flexible labor market, and, the larger the city, the greater its capacity to meet demand from the business.
Modern technologies have requirements not only for size, but also to the structure, quality and qualification, and the weight of the contribution of human capital in the dynamics and characteristics of economic development is constantly increasing. Qualification characteristics of regional labor market affect the type of the located production, the abilities to generate and to perceive innovations.
The level of education, age and social structure of the population also determine the inclination and ability to entrepreneurship, business culture. Cities benefit significantly compared to the rural settlements of these characteristics. There is a feedback, urban population has a wider range of choice of employment and the theory of consumer behavior interprets this extension as an increase in individual utility. Personal skills and abilities receive the possibility of an adequate application and the most efficient usage in the industrial sector.
The concentration and diversity of resources in urban and metropolitan areas offer opportunities of economies of scale, large market and a combination of factors of production, but under certain conditions, the rapid growth of urban settlements is accompanied by negative consequences. The limits of urbanization are given by resource constraints. Under conditions of high rates of extensive development cities generate increasing demand and a particularly high burden on the non-transportable factors of production: land and water. Shortage of land leads to its high price and congestion.
Water pollution also imposes costs connecting with creation of sanitation systems, sewage disposal and sustainable water supply. Cities suffer from environmental degradation and pollutions. The population of large cities is far from the nature and green areas, the preservation of which is difficult due to the shortage of land. However in the modern world the environment and local resources become more and more serious restrictions for the economic activity. One of the most acute problems of large cities is the transport infrastructure. The concentration of auto transport in the cities is increasing, while the solutions of the problem lag behind and require significant resources.
As a result, the time of traveling within the cities to the place of work or study, which generally is non-productive, is very high. Urban residents are also at increased risk of accidents and fatalities. The reverse side of concentration of economic activity and high population density in cities is reduction of housing affordability and overcrowding of residence, what reduces the attractiveness and quality of life in the cities, and sometimes provokes a crime. It is statistically confirmed that an increase in overall well-being of the population of large cities is associated with a sharp income inequality and with growth in absolute and relative poverty.
This leads to an accumulation of discontent, to social conflicts what is a brake on economic development. The reasons for the slowdown are, firstly, the need for large-scale redistribution, causing a net loss for society. Secondly, poor people have limited opportunities for education, loans to business, resulting in the underutilized potential of this category of the population, all these negatively affects the productivity of the economy and its growth rate. Thirdly, conflict resolution and achieving balance in society require additional resources that are spent unproductively, what reduces the overall efficiency of the economic system.
Another argument in favor of the conflicting influences of urbanization on overall economic growth is the fact that urban development is not only due to internal resources, but to a greater extent due to external sources. Migration from villages and small towns, the concentration of business and accumulation of financial resources and investment in major cities can lead to high inter-regional inequality, the emergence of stagnant and depressed areas, of the “economic deserts” around cities. An impact of urban life on the social capital in society is also ambiguous.
Small size of the settlement, isolation, lack of alternatives and the static relationships, strong social ties force to fulfill the commitments and made reputation mechanism effective. At the same time in the large and dynamic societies, relationships are anonymous, informal norms and rules are less effective. These considerations bring to the conclusion that urbanization does not help to build trust, harmony and cohesion. But there are counterarguments, advanced education culture and communication infrastructure provide opportunities for active purposeful interactions and form a range of social networks, all this is an argument in favor of the development of social capital. Obviously, the result of the combination of the positive and negative effects depends on the society, its culture, stage of the development and on national values and norms. If we consider the case of Russia, urbanization can be attributed to factors that positively influence the development of social capital. The effects of urbanization on economic development are ambiguous and depend on the stages and features of the country’s development, on a network of spatial relations, its density and structure, and on the functions of cities. As a result, despite the presence of some universal characteristics, a combination of benefits and costs of urbanization in each country has its own specifics.
In modern science, global processes can be represented, firstly, as encompassing the whole world and, secondly, as systemic phenomena that permeate the entire life activity of man.
The global nature and universality of the modern process of urbanization have deep historical roots. They are manifested in our time on two levels:
- On the philosophical-worldview (interdisciplinary). Urbanization belongs to one of the first places among the global problems of our time, since it is in the city, as a focus, that most of the world’s problems are concentrated and prospects for the development of mankind are determined. Therefore, urbanization in many ways determines the development of the earthly civilization with the time of the appearance of the ancient city and to our days.
- On the problem. Urbanization in today’s highly contradictory and differentiated world is characterized by the following common main problems:
- The conflict between intensively expanding urbanized areas and the resources of cultivated agricultural land, forest land, etc., necessary to maintain a balance between nature and society;
- The cultural and economic conflict between urban and rural areas, the degradation of the economy and the demographic condition of the rural population under the influence of expanding urbanization;
- The conflict between the explosive danger of an increasing formally urban population and clearly not the urban level (for a significant part) of its culture and consciousness, the insufficient preparedness of the production and service sectors for such rapid urban growth; this is the problem of the so-called pseudo-or false, urbanization that began in the mid-1930s. in USSR;
- Conflict of socio-cultural and socio-ethnic character within urbanized areas as a result of sharply increased property and other differences between the so-called old and new inhabitants of cities, due to the replenishment of low-skilled labor at the expense of emigrants.
Urbanization is a process deeply spatial, concentrated and distinctly expressed with its projection on the territory, mapping. In the course of evolution there is an expansion of the areas of the urbanized environment and their qualitative change.
The spatial evolution of modern urbanization is characterized by the following significant features:
- Concentration, intensification, differentiation and diversity of urban types of activities (functions), and more recently and increasingly in agriculture in the suburban areas of major centers;
- Distribution outside the centers and urbanized areas of the urban way of life with a special communication structure, culture, value orientation system;
- Development of large urban agglomerations, urbanized areas and zones as a result of enhanced interconnections in settlement systems;
- Complication of forms and systems of urbanized settlement: the transition from point and linear — to nodal, bandpass, etc.;
- Increase the radius of settlement within the agglomerations and urbanized areas associated with places of employment, recreation areas, etc., and causing territorial growth of urban systems; accordingly there is an increase in the areas of highly urbanized areas due to the expansion of old and the emergence of new foci of urbanization.
For the spatial development of urbanization, the transformation of a network of urban settlements into settlement systems, the differentiation of urban space, the involvement of new territories in the sphere of influence of cities of various types and rank, and the expansion of the areas of the urbanized environment are further characterized.
When determining the nature of the urbanization of a country or area, the concepts of urban structure and territorial-urban structure are used. The urban structure is the ratio of settlements of different sizes (population) in the total number of them, the total population. Under the territorial-urban structure is understood the relationship and the mutual location of territories, which are peculiar:
- Development of urbanization in breadth (development of new cells) or deep (complication of forms and patterns of settlement);
- Expression and pattern of the network of supporting urban centers;
- The degree of maturity of urban agglomerations;
- Spatial differentiation of regional urban systems.
Urbanization is a comprehensive process, it encompasses not only the urban but, increasingly, the countryside in the territorial plan, largely determining its transformation — demographic, social, economic, spatial, etc. This is why many rural problems (mobility, change structure of the rural population, depopulation) are very closely associated with urbanization. Cities have a multifaceted impact on the surrounding rural areas, gradually «reworking» it, reducing the size of the countryside. As a result, there is a rapid development of the suburbs of large cities — suburbanization (literally «urbanization of suburbs»). At the same time, some urban conditions and norms of life are being introduced into rural settlements, i.e., urbanization (rural urbanization). The urbanization of rural areas also leads to qualitative changes in rural areas: non-agricultural occupations of the rural population are growing, pendulum migration is increasing, especially in cities and suburban zones of large centers, the socio-professional and demographic structure of rural residents, their way of life, the level of improvement of rural settlements, etc. Large zones of gravitation of large centers are formed, in which close and direct links between the city and the countryside are formed.
According to experts, there is a real danger that human society can emerge from the permissible framework of its interaction with the environment in the not so distant future (approximately to the middle of the next century), ie. due to environmental pollution, the impact of industrial heat transfer on the climate and other processes, the ecological balance can seriously deteriorate, and some non-renewable natural resources can be depleted. Although this statement of the issue can not be considered proved at present, the tense ecological situation already observed in the largest urban agglomerations, characteristic of the capitalist countries, can serve as a serious warning for humanity. Preservation of the global balance between man and nature, prevention of a possible world ecological crisis depends to a decisive degree on the degree of mankind’s organization on scientific social foundations, on its ability to regulate its relations with the natural environment.
The problem of the ratio of natural resources to the population, naturally, is associated not only with the growth of production, but also with the increase in population. The bulk of this increase falls on developing countries, experiencing an acute shortage of food, means of production, financial resources.
The information age has made people more aware. This allows people to organize themselves more easily to overthrow dictatorships. This, in turn, often allows governments to introduce more stringent practices and deal with their own citizens.
The ratio of the dynamics of population growth and economic resources is connected with the solution of social and economic problems. At the same time, in modern conditions, palliative measures to improve the «population — resources» relationship can be measures to prevent the growth of population in the third world, conducted on the basis of state sovereignty and respect for the rights of the family.
Along with the general growth of the population, more and more serious problems of nature management are put forward by the concentration of the population in large cities. The crisis of cities has become one of the brightest manifestations of the global crisis. The problems of urbanization are inherently social in nature. State measures should be implemented centrally to combat urban pollution. Voluntary migration (migration) of the population is stimulated in the directions corresponding to the needs of economic development and ecological balance. The general perspective consists in the formation of a unified settlement system, built on the optimal consideration of the requirements of the economy, the need to preserve the cleanliness of the environment, creating the most favorable conditions for work and leisure for people.
Realities of life in the modern global economy of the XXI century, such that economic power is increasingly geographically concentrated in the largest forms of settlement, among which the leading positions are occupied by the largest cities with a population of one million people or more. Megacities, which are the nuclei of the concentration of huge production capacities, the concentration of information, innovation and cultural potential, which provide the bulk of the increase in national wealth, dominate within the territorial structure of the economy of developed countries.
Advantages of urbanization:
1) Development and growth of cities, growing as if separately — point concentration; The city accumulates potential, complicates its functional and planning structures, but further expansion is difficult because of the limited territorial resources;
2) Formation of agglomerations — post-urban stage of settlement development; characterized by the emergence of a galaxy of settlements on the basis of a large city. The agglomeration has two main properties — the proximity of the settlements that form them and the complementarity. Agglomerations play a leading role in all developed and in a number of developing countries;
3) Formation of megacities and the formation of a supporting framework in the resettlement. The supporting frame is an urbanized portrait of a country or region. It is caused by a combination of nodal (city and agglomeration) and linear (highway and other transportation lines). Where they are brought together and the territory is covered by zones of their influence, urbanized areas are formed. The formation of the supporting framework indicates the manifestation of two tendencies in the development of settlement: centripetal and linear-regressive.
In recent years, both in our country and in the West, a new scientific trend has begun to develop — the pathology of urbanization. The concept of «pathology» can be interpreted in two ways. In colloquial speech — this is a way of behavior, which is a deviation from the existing norms of law and morality. The term «social pathology» is given a broader meaning.
A whole list of pathologies can be presented on this problem: economically motivated conflicts, such as a strike; criminality, other deviations from morality; alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, prostitution, suicide, mental illness, family breakdown; corruption, etc. As can be seen, social pathology encompasses a wide and diverse spectrum of phenomena, and it is not always possible to determine which of these are manifestations and which are the causes of the disease. It is quite obvious that without a clear division into causes and effects, no hypothesis can be satisfactory.
These pathologies are observed both in cities and in the countryside, however they are more typical for cities, as the urban environment is more convenient for their distribution.
Actually urban pathology includes only those phenomena that are generated by this way of organizing space. Thus, urban pathology includes housing problems, pollution of the environment, poor transport performance, poor functioning of the technical infrastructure, poor quality of service, etc.
All these types of urban pathology proper have their own way of organizing space with such consequences as harm to health, a reduced ability to work or the impossibility of a more complete reproduction of social structures, as well as social disorganization and the deviations resulting from it or even criminal behavior.
Thus, the roots of the pathology of the city are seen in the most modern «urban organization» of a society that is not sufficiently adapted to solve problems of human life. In different social systems these problems are solved in different ways.
The pathologies of the city include both the social pathology in the city, and the actual urban pathology itself.
To determine the pathology of urbanization, it is necessary to:
1) define what urbanization is;
2) develop a model of urbanization, considered «normal»;
3) determine the pathology of urbanization as a deviation from the norm.
The tendency to property polarization of the population within the urban communities leads to the segregation of the poor population, displacing it to the «roadside» of city life. The economic crisis and political instability stimulate unemployment and internal migration, as a result of which, because of the excessive influx of people, much more people live in many cities than they are able to «digest». The growth of the population in cities, far outstripping the demand for labor, is accompanied not only by the absolute, but sometimes by the relative expansion of those layers that do not participate in modern production. These processes lead to an increase in urban unemployment and the development in the cities of the informal sector of the economy, engaged in small-scale production and services. In addition, there is a noticeable increase in the criminal sector, which includes both the «shadow» economy and organized crime.
Urbanization can be considered normal when it remains within a certain relationship with the processes of industrialization. There are three possible development options, wherein options b) and c) can be defined as a «pathological situation»:
- a) both processes correspond to each other;
- b) urbanization goes ahead of industrialization;
- c) Urbanization can not keep up with industrialization.
Overindustrialization and insufficient urbanization occur when the main, if not the only, factor in economic growth is industry, where major capital investments have been sent for a long period of time. This means a rapid increase in the number of industrial workers, the proportion of which is gradually becoming higher than the proportion of city residents. In this case, there is a transfer of labor from agriculture to industry without actual relocation of the population from village to town.
Priority is given to the development of industry, so there is not enough money for urban development. Excessive industrialization is a situation in which the priority of production dominates the simple and expanded reproduction of the labor force.
Adopting a strategy of competition (between the interests of production and the city) first brings profit to individual economic units of society, but inevitably leads to losses affecting all involved in this strategy. When a certain level of industrialization is exceeded, the damage caused by environmental pollution becomes relatively higher than the profit from industrial production. Along with the damage to the surrounding environment, there will also be losses due to the increased cost of inefficiently operating transport and inadequate reproduction of excessive industrialization areas working capacity.
Currently, the system of urban planning in Russia is far from perfect. Among the problems of urban planning in the Russian Federation are:
— Lack of legal legitimacy of urban development management, since the Constitution of the Russian Federation does not include the issues of town planning to state issues, but transfers them only to the level of the subject of the Russian Federation;
— Arbitrary distribution of functions by management levels, which does not allow to take the whole complex of decisions at the same level of management;
— Violation of the basic principles of managing complex hierarchical systems, which leads to the severance of managerial links between the regional level of government and local self-government: administrative influences do not enter the lower floor of the power pyramid;
— The absence of a single task for the development of settlement systems in any form — the Scheme of territorial planning of the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation Urban Development Doctrine, which leaves the process of preparing urban planning documentation without guidelines, principles and tasks of urban development of the country and its regions;
— Neglect of the achievements of the domestic town-planning science in determining the development of settlement systems, reducing them to land use issues, which can not determine the correct development of town-planning objects, corresponding to their immanent properties, the development phases and the topology of the space in which these objects are located.
The question arises:
— To what extent is the pathology of urbanization the result of the syndrome of the urban-industrial civilization in general and in what way is it the result of specific processes of industrialization?
— How much does it depend on individual communities, political systems, city politicians?
The main problems in the pathology of urbanization and urban structures: underdevelopment of cities, the housing problem, the consequences of the division of cities into functional zones, the syndrome of perception of block complexes.
Each socio-economic system organizes space in its inherent way, establishing a relation to the space of both individuals and social groups. This organization can be shown as follows: primary space — secondary; personal — public; central — non-central; ritual — secular.
Each system establishes relationships within and between each pair. The harmonious nature of these relations determines the order of space and society.
Primary space — the apartment and its immediate surroundings (environment, neighbors) — should be large enough and well adapted to the needs of the person. Users should be able to influence the way it functions and organizes. Secondary space is formed in accordance with the criteria of rationality and efficiency. It imposes some restrictions on users and imposes a certain type of behavior. There must be certain proportions between the primary and secondary spaces. One of the pathologies of urban structures is the destruction of proportions between primary and secondary space (the offensive of the secondary to the primary and the resistance of individuals).
The minimum condition for the proper development of the individual and society is the establishment of a variety of numerous and informal ties and the possession of a space with qualitative properties that make it possible to assimilate it and provide the opportunity for the creative formation of its environment; apartments and territories around it. This hypothesis is confirmed by the spontaneous behavior of people and communities, directed against technical and economic forces, whose desire is to unify both the living space of a person and his behavior.
Thus, we are dealing with a conflict between two opposing points of view, two orders: between the «technical and economic order of organization» and the «organic order of the community». The first, meaning rationalization and unification of the behavior, corresponds to the organization of production.
The overall assessment of the new direction of research boils down to the following: it is a method of conducting comparative studies of negative aspects of urbanization and deformation of urban structures in different countries, which stimulates the development of international research and contacts. Useful and attention to the «painful» points of development of human civilization, because knowledge of diseases is necessary to cure them. The methodology of the new direction has already led to the development of some new ideas regarding the organization of the city space.
The study of the main trends in the development of the population on the basis of the analysis of statistical material clearly confirms the fundamental provisions on the decisive influence of socio-economic factors of production on the population — on its reproduction, composition, migration mobility, employment, placement and character of resettlement and etc.
The current low birth rate of natural population growth, the presence of vast areas with stubborn reproduction of the population are closely related to the aggravation of economic and social contradictions, the growth of unemployment and the deterioration of the material condition of a significant portion of workers, with the threat of a nuclear missile war.
The uneven development of the economy on the territory of the world has caused a very high intensity of population migration both between the countries of the region and within them, and with other regions of the world. Migrations significantly complicated the ethnic composition of the population of many countries. As a result of different, very contrasting combinations of the indicators of natural growth and migration of the population, there is a very variegated picture of the geography of the types of population dynamics.
The main feature of the current stage in the development of forms of dispersion is the growing economic and social crisis of large cities and agglomerations, which is further exacerbated by the exacerbation of environmental problems. The growth rate of the urban population has slowed down, the outflow of residents from the central agglomeration zones is increasing, and the importance of suburbanization and urbanization processes is growing; The areas of cities are increasing faster than their population. Thus, in the 70-ies. The process of urbanization has entered a phase of deconcentration. Large cities are «liberated» from a part of industry, but here the importance of non-productive functions rises. At the same time, integration processes accelerate the formation of large interurban forms of settlement. The rural population of the region is decreasing, its territorial concentration is growing, and the functions of rural settlements are becoming more complicated.
The economic crisis of the 90’s. and many other factors suggest that many of the laws of the current stage of the development of the world economy will continue in the future, so we should expect that the characteristics of the population’s development in the regions described in the work will change little in the first decades of the 21st century.
For most developed countries, low levels of fertility and natural population growth will continue to be characteristic, a simple or narrow reproduction of generations, a slow growth rate of urban settlements and deconcentration of the population in highly urbanized countries, a reduction in the proportion of workers throughout the population and among labor resources; the share of developed countries in the world’s population will decrease. Their characteristics will be preserved and the developing countries.
The environmental problems of cities (especially large ones) are that they concentrate all types of environmental pollution, having a direct and indirect impact on huge areas. The social aspect of urbanization is very diverse. It manifests itself in sharp differences in the quality of life in cities and the poor peripheral regions of many developed countries, in social contrasts within large cities. The spatial aspect of urbanization is associated with all the previous ones. The «sprawling» of agglomerations means the spread of the urban way of life to larger areas, which in turn leads to aggravation of environmental problems, to growing transport flows («agglomeration and encirclement»), to the marginal periphery of agricultural and reactionary zones.
The process of urbanization in individual regions and countries of the world has its own characteristics. The modern type of urbanization in economically developed countries is not so much a rapid rate of growth in the proportion of the urban population, but an intensive development of the processes of suburbanization and the formation on this basis of new spatial forms of urban settlement — urban agglomerations and megalopolises.
The strategic goals of regional development for the long term can be considered theoretically justified and practically realized only when they are worked out in the aspect of municipal districts and urban districts. It is on the territory of the latter that new production facilities are opened, old ones are being modernized, residential complexes, social and engineering infrastructure are being built. At the same time, the anomalously dispersed nature of the manifestations of economic activity in municipal districts and urban districts hinders the formation of a single economic space and the achievement of the strategic goal of development — improving the welfare and quality of life of the population in the region. As about federal government, in most countries legislation formation is the only thing that it currently makes in terms of managing urban development activities.
Suburbanization (under, about + urban) — the process of formation and development of the suburban zone of large cities, resulting in the formation of urban agglomerations. Suburbanization is usually characterized by higher rates of growth in the population of suburbs and satellite cities compared to the city centers of agglomerations.
Suburbanization (outflow of population to suburban areas) is a spontaneous process, it contributed to some reduction in the population of urban nuclei, but it does not lead to decentralization of the population, but rather means «sprawling concentration». Suburbanization also determines the social stratification of the population. A significant part of wealthy people migrate from the centers, which aggravates the problems of large cities, as it narrows the tax base, and therefore the financial base for their reconstruction.
Globalization has long been considered as the basis for the development of the modern system of international relations. At the same time, the processes of regionalization were regarded as derivatives of it. However, it is now recognized that the processes of regionalization serve as the basis for the emergence of qualitatively new institutional ties, contributing to the emergence of regional associations.
In the theoretical understanding of regionalization, researchers consider the region as a subject of international relations and characterize globalization and regionalization as ambivalent processes. The development of regionalization leads to a revision of the classical theories of integration and the emergence of new approaches necessary to describe new forms of interaction between states. Thus, there is a process of transformation of a monocentric system of international relations into a polycentric one, which based on the interaction of regional associations and subnational regions.
It is important to substantiate and evaluate the factors of economic growth of regional integration communities and the national economies of the participating countries that develop them. In this aspect, it is noted that integration is successfully developing only in the conditions of the rise of the national economies of the countries.
Mature regionalism, a new governance mechanism that regulates the institutional and legal framework of the Caribbean single market and economy, is fundamentally changing the national governance of education in the Caribbean community. Focusing on the integration of functional aspects, the article suggests that mature regionalism in education is built on joint governance and includes multi-party governance with the state, private sector, civil society and community, as well as hybrid public-private and private-social parties.
It is concluded that the instrumentalization of mature regionalism in education is giving way to «educational regionalism», defined by the movement towards structured institutional mechanisms that contribute to the deepening of Caribbean integration.
At the same time, it is expedient to speak of regional policy not simply as an activity aimed at streamlining the national space and having as its object all the territorial problems of the state. With the advent of the supranational level of development of regional programs, in some cases, it becomes necessary to supplement the content of the concept of «regional policy» with a transnational aspect, which implies the interaction of several countries.
The globalism of the urbanization process is particularly evident in the case of developing countries. Urbanization here is unique, leading to a rapid growth of the «pseudo-urban population» (hence: «slum urbanization»). Millions of people in cities drive landlessness, lack of chances of finding a job in the countryside. They replenish the population of quarters on the periphery of large cities. A lot of economic, social, environmental problems, the process of urbanization generates in Russia.
In general, the world becomes urbanized and it is no accident that one of the goals of sustainable development until 2030 is devoted to cities and settlements. They have to:
- Remain productive: people here have to find decent work, businesses can efficiently produce and trade, this requires a successful infrastructure, which means that roads, public transport, energy, water supply and sewage systems, a waste recycling system, an effective judicial system to ensure execution of contracts;
- Ensure social integration: the city should not be a place that increases the gap between the rich and the poor. Effective urban planning and policies should build cities in which people of different races, classes and ethnic groups interact productively, peacefully and with a high degree of social mobility and trust;
- Be environmentally sustainable: due to high population density, cities are vulnerable to environmental ailments. Therefore, cities should conduct two types of environmental activities: reduce the «ecological footprint», as well as provide resistance to changing environmental conditions.
Thus, modern settlement processes in Russia are characterized on the one hand by a high level of urbanization, the formation of agglomerations, on the other hand, the uneven distribution of cities across the country and the presence of the longest non-urbanized territories in the world. Consequently, the problem of the development of these territories deserves the closest and most careful study. Russia should develop and implement its own concept for the development of non-urbanized territories, which, ultimately, will have a positive impact both on the development of Russian regions and the country as a whole.
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 Soicial and economical problems of urbanization between mankind and environment. Sher M.L., Mironov L.V. Actual Problems and Prospects of Economic Development: Russian and Foreign Experience. 2019. — № 3 (22). — С. 61-64.
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 Haase D, Xuemei B (2018). Global Urbanization: Perspectives and Trends, Urban Planet Knowledge: Knowledge towards Sustainable Cities. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, April 2018 1st edition pp.19-44 DOI: 10.1017/9781316647554.003.
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 Urban agglomerations: positive and negative features of the urbanization of modern society. Sher M.L., Shevchenko O.P., Kovaleva O.V., Mironov L.V.Экономические исследования и разработки. 2018. № 7. С. 32-42.
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 Каримов Р. Ф. Управление градостроительством и территориальным развитием в России / Молодой ученый. — 2015. — №23. — С. 544-546.
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2. Arku Godwin, Marais Lochner (2021). Global South Urbanisms and Urban Sustainability Challenges and the Way Forward. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. №3-2021. ISSN 2624-9634.
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12. К вопросу об аграрно-земельных преобразованиях в России. Шер М.Л. В сборнике: Современная парадигма социально-экономических феноменов: теоретико-методологические и прикладные аспекты. сборник статей Международной научно-практической конференции. Краснодар. - 2020. - С. 26-29.
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14. Шевелева Р. Н. Современные процессы урбанизации: характеристика, влияние на региональное развитие / Проблемы современной экономики: материалы IV Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Челябинск, февраль 2015 г.). — Челябинск: Два комсомольца, 2015. — С. 130-133.