World-city-entrepreneurialism: globalist imaginaries, neoliberal geographies, and the production of new St Petersburg
Whilst St Petersburg is not usually considered as a command-and-control centre in the organisation of global capitalism—a key characterisation of world cities to some proponents—I reveal how Russian political elites have been inspired by a world-city vision for St Petersburg and have begun pursuing specific spatial strategies to accommodate this vision. In order to explain this experience, I attempt to establish a firmer conceptual link between ‘world city’, ‘urban entrepreneurialism’, and ‘state rescaling’ by articulating the concept of world-city-entrepreneurialism. World cities are argued to be a political modus operandi and one possible layer in the multilayered and interrelated matrix of urban entrepreneurial strategies under neoliberalism. Four dimensions of world-city-entrepreneurialism are considered (with specific sociocultural reference to St Petersburg): (a) remaking the city as an international hub for circulatory capital and production, (b) making the city as a capital of corporate power, (c) reinventing the city character and tradition through globalist megaprojects, and (d) the role of central government. The evidence of emerging world-city-entrepreneurialism for St Petersburg is seen as part of the process of reorganising the principles of postsocialist spatial governance further away from the Soviet ‘scalar etiquette’ of administrative subordination and redistribution, and towards a neoliberal geoinstitutional regime of uneven accumulation.
The paper compares opposite approaches to the study of spatial order in contemporary societies. On the one hand, theories of globalization and world society argue that states and their borders are not relevant anymore. Globalization means world without borders, therefore contemporary global cities, being located within state borders, do not belong to their territories. In a global city, there is no room for common solidarity among citizens—those who go beyond state borders cannot become integrated to world society. On the other hand, there is much empirical evidence that states do not disappear. They still play a significant role. The state border deliniates a part of space which people can feel emotional attachment with. The states can use legitimate violence against those who reside within its borders as well as enforce feelings of solidarity with those who live on this territory. This logic brings two notions of nation and nationalism. In a more traditional understanding of these notions based on kinship (“consanguinity”), culture and language, the state is defined as a tool for the constitution of nation, which needs territory with clear borders for survival. In contrast, the civic understanding of nation suggests flexibility of any identities, including the national one. Those who follow the second definition usually do not recognize its implications. On the one hand, a territorially located group can demand statehood to assert and guarantee its identity. On the other hand, a group, which has freely chosen its identity, also can demand spatial borders and, in the same vein, a state. These demands are connected with each other. Spatial definition of any group, which can proclaim itself as a nation and demand a state, contradicts contemporary organization of global cities. In this respect, sociology may be interested in how these two modes of space intersect, i.e. how the world society with its fluids and networks interacts with new states, being constituted within new borders.
With about two thirds of the UNECE population living in urban areas, this is where the region's social, intellectual and economic life is concentrated. This study provides an overview of the importance of cities for energy reduction, climate protection and climate adaptation. It discusses the actions that cities in the UNECE region need to undertake in order to mitigate their energy intensity and carbon footprint, and to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and post-carbon energy transitions. Climate Neutral Cities presents targeted considerations for relevant urban sectors, such as energy, mobility, buildings, green space, waste and water, with the overall aim of advancing sustainable development and ensuring green growth. This report concludes with introducing a City Roadmap for Climate Neutrality, including milestones for actions in priority sectors and for the set-up of an organizational framework.
City planning is a means for determining policy, appropriate policy in a democracy is determined through political debate. The right course of action is always a matter of choice, never of fact. Planners should engage in the political process as advocates of the interests of government and other groups. Intelligent choice about public policy would be aided if different political, social, and economic interests produced city plans. Plural plans rather than a single agency plan should be presented to the public. Politicizing the planning process requires that the planning function be located in either or both the executive and legislative branches and the scope of planning be broadened to include all areas of interest to the public.
In light of the increasingly complex socio-economic processes and changes, today’s cities as complex systems will not be able to respond to numerous challenges unless they possess a governance model that can flexibly adjust to shifting external conditions. In this regard, there is growing demand for innovative management tools combining solutions from different fields. The ‘smart city’ concept is one of the most sought after. This article analyses the advantages of this concept, the conditions needed, as well as the obstacles for implementing it. We consider the challenges related to becoming a ‘smart city’, the different ways a smart city comes into being, evaluate the future for smart city solutions, as well as assess the current willingness of administrations of Russian cities to adopt this model.From our analysis, we conclude that ‘smart city’ strategies continue in many cases to rely on a narrow, ‘technological’ approach. Such an approach presupposes that the availability alone of smart infrastructure can solve many urban problems and improve the quality of urban life. However, in contrast to the extended, comprehensive approach, it does not address many socio-economic factors and the real needs of the population. Consequently, certain targets remain largely unfulfilled. The implementation of an integrated approach implies a number of conditions, such as the ability to integrate management decisions taken at various levels and predict how changes in one system affect other systems; a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration; and an ability to deal with resistance to changes.A survey conducted by the HSE’s Research Institute for Regional and Urban Planning in 2015 aimed to evaluate the future prospects for establishing the concept of ‘smart city’ in Russian cities. The survey results show that city managers in Russia in general positively perceive the ‘smart city’ approach as a basis for urban development strategies. Yet, the possibilities for implementing it are mostly seen as medium or long-term options.
This open access book explores the formation and socio-spatial trajectories of large housing estates in Europe. Are these estates clustered or scattered? Which social groups originally had access to residential space in housing estates? What is the size, scale and geography of housing estates, their architectural and built environment composition, services and neighbourhood amenities, and metropolitan connectivity? How do housing estates contribute to the urban mosaic of neighborhoods by ethnic and socio-economic status? What types of policies and planning initiatives have been implemented in order to prevent the social downgrading of housing estates?
The collection of chapters in this book addresses these questions from a new perspective previously unexplored in scholarly literature. The social aspects of housing estates are thoroughly investigated (including socio-demographic and economic characteristics of current and past inhabitants; ethnicity and segregation patterns; population dynamics; etc.), and the physical composition of housing estates is described in significant detail (including building materials; building form; architectural and landscape design; built environment characteristics; etc.). This book is timely because the recent global economic crisis and Europe’s immigration crisis demand a thorough investigation of the role large housing estates play in poverty and ethnic concentration. Through case studies of housing estates in 14 European centers, the book also identifies policy measures that have been used to address challenges in housing estates throughout Europe.
A course of action adopted and pursued by government, business, or some other organization, which seeks to improve or develop cities or towns through land use planning, water resource management, central city development, policing and criminal justice, or pollution control.
This book offers an interdisciplinary and comparative study of the complex interplay between private versus public forms of organization and governance in urban residential developments. Bringing together top experts from numerous disciplines, including law, economics, geography, political science, sociology, and planning, this book identifies the current trends in constructing the physical, economic, and social infrastructure of residential communities across the world. It challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the division of labor between market-driven private action and public policy in regulating residential developments and the urban space, and offers a new research agenda for dealing with the future of cities in the twenty-first century. It represents a unique ongoing academic dialogue between the members of an exceptional group of scholars, underscoring the essentially of an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of private communities and urban governance. As such, the book will appeal to a broad audience consisting of policy-makers, practitioners, scholars, and students across the world, especially in developing countries and transitional and emerging economies.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.