Delineating Russian cities in the perspective of corporate globalization: towards Large Urban Regions
The paper presents a new type of urban delimitation for Russian cities called Large Urban Region which facilitates showing the level of integration of cities into globalization through the presence of multinational firms, and enables urban comparative research on the global scale. An important objective of the new delimitation is to encompass the area likely to be home to multinational companies, which are by basic presumption the most dependent on location near a national or international airport. Previous studies on urban delineations in Russia have focused, almost exclusively, on morphological aspects or on functional urban areas, which have substantial limitations and are not always adequate for global urban comparisons. In this article we propose to apply a more suitable combination of criteria to delineate cities as large urban regions. We illustrate the relevance of these criteria for the polycentric urban structure such as Samara, and for the monocentric city such as St. Petersburg. Then, we apply this delimitation for all Russian cities which results in 120 Russian LURs. We demonstrate the usefulness of this new LUR delineation for the largest Russian cities showing how much it changes their sizes in terms of population and number of companies, and argue that these sizes are more realistic to state their rank in globalization than previous methods.