Настоящее и будущее северной стороны (Предисловие)
Nowadays, the NearNorth of Russia undergoes a fateful epoch. The
processes of destruction of the old world order in economic, social and cultural
relations is not only continuing, but increasing its pace. The omnipresent
destruction is manifested through the depopulation of villages and small towns,
further decline in agricultural production, "consolidation" (actually closing) of
educational institutions and health care centers, and the degradation of
infrastructure. The compressed social space of the Middle North of Russia is
shrinking in concentric circles around the regional centers, increasing the
vastness of social vacuum and the white space, with the latter being gradually
occupied by the mutating natural forms.
In addition, yet another (opposite) trend can be identified. It is associated
with the escalation of migration amongst the dwellers of the large cities,
especially megalopolises, to rural areas.
Extensive development of Russian cities, especially Moscow and St.
Petersburg, has revealed serious social problems that had previously not been
fully taken into account. In particular, the rapid escalation and exacerbation of
social problems determine the quality of life in cities. From one perspective,
Moscow and St. Petersburg are represented as thriving metropolises possessing
a whole set of such social attractors as rich and comfortable residential buildings,
shopping malls with international brands, best restaurants, medical facilities and
other requisites of the upper classes. However, parallel to these features, the
quality of life in metropolitan areas is determined by such parameters as the
deteriorating environmental conditions, increase in street (and other types of)
crime, unsolvable traffic conditions which reduce inner-city mobility to a
minimum, and the decline of anti-terrorist security.
In the Middle North of Russia, especially in the Kostroma region, one
particular trend became evident: there has been a transition from the seasonal
migration to dachas towards the ‘settled’ migration related not only to the
summer recreation, but also to the industrial activity in the framework of
modern technologies. Specifically, modern forms of labor in the field of
information technology were initially (and still remain to be) exterritorial in
nature. Those working with data tend to be indifferent to the location of their job
– what is important to them is a point of connection to the network and a portal
for entry into hyperspace.