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Article

Арктическая урбанизация: феномен и сравнительный анализ

Замятина Н. Ю., Гончаров Р. В.

The article provides a comparative assessment of the level of urbanization within the Arctic territories of the world according to common criteria. All settlements of the Arctic with a population exceeding 5,000 people are analyzed, regardless of their status. The border of the Arctic coincides with the southernmost of three options most often used in the international studies on the socio-economic geography of the Arctic. According to the results of the assessment, the level of urbanization in many regions of foreign Arctic is lower than the estimates given in relevant scientific literature. Specific features of the development of Arctic cities are considered, the main types of cities in the Russian and foreign Arctic are identified. While choosing the typology criteria, the following factors were taken into account: the influence of remoteness from other urban centers on the economic development (the importance of this factor is high in the Arctic due to the rare urban network); factors of socio-economic development in the «knowledge economy» era; transport and geographical location etc. As a result, three main criteria were chosen, i. e. the presence of its own university, administrative status, location within the agglomeration of a larger city. Four types of Arctic cities were identified: 1. Key multifunctional (university) cities. 2 Peripheral administration centers. 3. Suburban cities of different specializations. 4. Remote industrial centers. The criterion of coastal position was used to distinguish subtypes. As a rule, cities of the first type have the status of a national or regional administrative capital (with some exceptions), and are university cities. Almost half of the urban population of the Arctic lives in such cities (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Anchorage, Tromso, Reykjavik, etc.). The second type includes regional capitals without their own university (Salekhard, Yellowknife, etc.). The cities of the third type are mainly concentrated around the cities of the first type (Murmashi, Wasilla, etc.). Finally, the fourth type of cities embraces remote cities that do not have either capital status or an independent university. This group includes mainly cities located near the mineral deposits (Novy Urengoy, Labrador City, etc.). The specific feature of the Russian Arctic is a higher proportion of inland (non-port) suburban cities (most rapidly losing population) and remote industrial centers (conditionally «cities near deposits»). The foreign Arctic has a high proportion of the cities of the first type (capital university cities).