Исследования городской системы и агломераций в России
The article is an research overview and is devoted to the trends of the last decade in the development and study of the urban system of Russia, its largest agglomerations, especially Moscow. The features of the country's urban network against the global background and key shifts in it are noted, including the ongoing process of population concentration in the largest cities and agglomerations with the degradation of the lower levels of the urban system - small towns and urban-type settlements. The reasons for these processes are connected both with the movement of the population, natural and especially mechanical, and with administrative decisions: the expansion of large cities, the liquidation of urban-type settlements, etc. The differences between the regions of Russia in the number and size of urban settlements, as well as the direction of drift of demographic centers are shown. A review of studies on agglomerations found their continuity with the Soviet ones. The main conclusions on the dynamics of the development of agglomerations correspond to those obtained earlier (the growth of the largest, primarily Moscow and St. Petersburg) continues. The demographic resource for feeding smaller agglomerations is gradually decreasing: they grow more slowly or even decrease in size. The key mechanism of transformation remains mechanical movement, largely due to the strong polarization of the labor market between the centers of agglomerations, their belts and the non-agglomeration periphery. It initiates large-scale return labor and permanent migration. Against this background, the Moscow agglomeration stands out more and more noticeably, growing into the core of the emerging Central Russian megalopolis. The direct impact of the capital's labor and housing markets and related migrations covers Central and Southern Russia, while the indirect impact is felt throughout the country. The growth of the share and role of agglomeration in the settlement system determines a set of factors that have consolidated its image of the "land of opportunities": capital rent, centralization of economic and political decisions, agglomeration effect, concentration of the best human capital, polarization of the labor market and career opportunities.