Global Cities versus Rustbelt Realities: The Dilemmas of Urban Development in Russia

a talk by STEPHEN CROWLEY Professor of Political Science Oberlin College

Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

University of Pennsylvania
College Hall Room 200
Phiadelphia, PA 19104

Following the argument of urban geographers that “superstar” cities are the engines of economic growth in a globalized era, Kremlin advisor Kudrin among others have argued that Russia shouldinvest in handful of major cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg. That advice is now part of official government planning. However, in stark contrast to the developed world, 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 over 300 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 talk 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 cities and towns.Photo: Simon Matzinger