Social and Economic Geography (including Urban and Transportation Studies)
This textbook on political geography is devoted to a discipline concerned with the spatial dimensions of politics. This course is an introduction to the study of political science, international relations and area studies, providing a systemic approach to the spatial dimension of political processes at all levels. It covers their basic elements, including states, supranational unions, geopolitical systems, regions, borders, capitals, dependent, and internationally administered territories. Political geography develops fundamental theoretical approaches that give insight into the peculiarities of foreign and domestic policies. The ability to use spatial analysis techniques allows determining patterns and regularities of political phenomena both at the global and the regional and local levels.
The publication was carried out within the framework of a joint project of HSE University and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR / Russia and the Republic of Indonesia. The project heads are Dr. Evgeny Kanaev (HSE University) and Dr. Dmitry Mosyakov (IOS RAS).
The economies of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (CEECCA) grew at a varying pace in 2000–2019, with an average rate of 6.5 percent per annum (GDP, PPP). This economic progress was accompanied by some positive changes in environmental performance, but not in all areas and not in all countries in the region.
Understanding the connections between climate change policies and sustainable development is critically important for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Well-designed climate mitigation policy can lead to significant co-benefits for a range of development priorities, including enhanced energy security and safety and reduced indoor air pollution; however, if not properly managed, mitigation can also lead to trade-offs. Maximizing synergies and avoiding trade-offs thus requires an integrated strategy based on a new generation of technological and socio-economic pathways that includes climate-resilient adaptation strategies. Over the last four years, CD-LINKS brought together an international team of interdisciplinary researchers with both global and national expertise. Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, the project applied cutting-edge scientific tools and models to explore the linkages between climate policies and sustainable development. Major achievements of the project include the development of globally consistent national low-carbon development pathways, and the formation of a research network and capacity building platform to leverage knowledge exchange among institutions. The project also improved understanding of the linkages between climate change policies and multiple sustainable development objectives and greatly enhanced the existing evidence base on policy effectiveness. A particular asset of the project are the insights related to policy designs that adequately account for mitigation trade-offs across sectors, actors, and objectives. We invite you to learn more about this ground-breaking work in the pages that follow.
The paper provides findings of the research work and scientific discussions under the “Global Sustainability Strategy Forum” (GSSF) that aims to develop evidence-informed judgments on challenges and solutions. It views attaining sustainability as a set of closely-coupled societal and environmental challenges and opportunities that require integration of multiple disciplines, new research methods, and new knowledge sources with sensitivity to regional and cultural diversities. The project is designed to produce innovative insights and strategies to support effective governance of transitions to sustainability of our complex global social-ecological system within its inherent resource limitations, and to develop sustainable lifestyles that are practical and appealing in the different regions and cultures of the world.
The global climate change is one of the most dangerous threats to human society in the 21st Century. The dramatic losses have already been observed, and the risks are rising over time. CEECCA region experiences many negative impacts of global warming, which is faster and stronger than the world average. Numerous adaptation and resilience measures are required to protect people, but regional governments often underestimate and ignore the social implications of climate policies.This paper explores what are the priority challenges for CEECCA countries and how to address them effectively.
Urban population is growing worldwide. Our societies are facing grand challenges like climate change and growing inequalities between people. There is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role. Easy and environmentally sustainable mobility options are called for in most cities. For these to attract users, they need to be safe and pleasant, providing positive experiences and well-being in addition to efficiency in time or cost.
NECTAR conference is organized with a title “Towards Human Scale Cities – Open and Happy” to reflect the new requirements of urban transportation. This 15th NECTAR conference, organized in Helsinki 5th - 7th June 2019, provides presentations by world-class keynotes Mikael Colville-Andersen and Professor Tim Schwanen, who approach human scale mobility from the viewpoints of a designer and a researcher. More than 140 scientific presentations explore advancements in the field of transport, communication and mobility, with a particular focus on good quality mobility options for people. The focus of the conference is urban transportation and the new possibilities that open data and digital technologies provide for mobility solutions and their research. Presentations provide food for thought concerning mobility choices and quality, new mobility solutions like MaaS, and policies that are implemented to support them.
Helsinki offers an interesting environment for the 2019 NECTAR conference. It is the home of the busiest passenger harbor in Europe with a twin-city development with Tallinn across the bay, and a major air transportation hub between Europe and Asia. It is one of the fastest growing capital regions in Europe, with large densification developments taking place in old logistic centers: harbor areas of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama and a train depot in Pasila. Public transportation is valued high by citizens, as well as politicians and planners making investment decisions for the future. First robotized buses are in operation and MaaS solutions are emerging. New bike sharing system is one of the most used in the world and has expanded to cover most of the city region. As everywhere in Europe, new forms of micromobility from electronic scooters to electric longboards are appearing on the streets making planners and police puzzled. The city has profiled itself as an open city: large amounts of open data about the region have been made available and the region of Helsinki is committed to open and transparent decision
and policy making. This supports also research in the major universities: University of Helsinki and Aalto University, the local organizers of the conference.
We anticipate that the conference days will forward our thinking on how to make cities more sustainable, functional and pleasant for people, and how to study them scientifically in a meaningful and transparent manner.
The Handbook of Research on International Collaboration, Economic Development, and Sustainability in the Arctic discusses the perspectives and major challenges of the investment collaboration and development and commercial use of trade routes in the Arctic. Featuring research on topics such as agricultural production, environmental resources, and investment collaboration, this book is ideally designed for policymakers, business leaders, and environmental researchers seeking coverage on new practices and solutions in the sphere of achieving sustainability in economic exploration of the Artic region
The forecast covers the period up to 2035. It describes dynamic trends that will shape the future of the world during the nearest 20 years. The aim of this study is to foresee the challenges awaiting the world and the forthcoming opportunities which can be used in the interests of the Russian state, ensuring its role as an active participant in the formation of the future world order. The book presents a general analysis of the main trends of world development, its spiritual culture, ideology, politics, innovation, economy, social sphere and interna tional security, the problems of globalization and regionalism. The final section of the book presents strategic recommendations for Russia. Prospective readers of this book include staff members of government institutions and management bodies, research, expert and business communities. It also may be recommended for student scholars of international affairs.
In order to understand a country as large and diverse as Russia, it is extremely important to consider spatial patterns of economic development. As Russia looks for new drivers of economic growth, it is important to understand the structural conditions that have defined economic development in Russia’s regions. This report uses the Economic Potential Index (EPI) methodology to identify the conditions that drive regional development. Economic potential is the level of productivity that is possible for a region to achieve given its structural endowments, which are characteristics that are hard to alter in the short run. The methodology used in this report combines quantitative analysis of drivers of productivity across regions with in-depth case studies that focus on the role of regional governments and institutions in converting endowments into economic outcomes. This methodology generates insights that are relevant for both national and regional governments. The first chapter of this report provides an overview of regional development in Russia over the last 25 years and identifies “Russia-specific” national structural conditions that may affect regional development. The second chapter discusses the results of an assessment of economic potential at the regional level and the factors that shape it in Russia. The third chapter focuses on the role of national and regional governance, policy, and institutions in promoting economic development of the regions. The final chapter proposes policy priorities for both regional and national authorities.
Global warming is recognized as one of the most urgent challenges for human society in the 21st century. The international community has agreed to undertake necessary actions to prevent dangerous anthropogenic impacts on the climatic system. Based on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014), the UNFCCC Parties adopted the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting the global mean surface temperature rise by “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. Such an ambitious “climatic” target requires unprecedented efforts to reduce carbon emissions to almost zero worldwide this century. Moreover, in order to keep the warming below 1.5°C, the global total emissions must be reduced by 50% or more by 2050 (compared to current levels) and reach net-zero levels afterwards. In practical terms, it means that most of the countries should deeply decarbonize their economies, energy systems, industries, transport, buildings, products and services, while continuing growth of GDP and the standard of living of the population. The developed countries agreed to take the lead in climate change mitigation under the UNFCCC; however, the largest developing countries and emerging economies have started playing substantial roles in carbon emissions nowadays. In this decade, China became the world No.1 CO2 emitter overcoming the United States. The Northeast Asian (NEA) region, including China, Japan, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation, is responsible for annual emissions of over 12.4 billion tonnes of CO2 or approximately 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. These countries are huge contributors to global warming today and may increase their share further. The traditional way of combusting the huge fossil fuels reserves (coal, gas, and oil) available in the Northeast Asian region would emit greenhouse gases substantially exceeding the amounts that would warm the planet by 2°C. On the other hand, plentiful sources of renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, tidal, and biomass, etc.) in combination with advanced technologies, investments, and land infrastructure developments can transform the Northeast Asian countries into decarbonized, climate- and environment-friendly economies with sustainable growth and development, fully consistent with the goals and commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. Delays with the deep decarbonization of the Northeast Asian economies will impose higher risks for communities and life-supporting ecosystems, more losses and stranded assets for businesses, and slower technological progress worldwide. The analysis of challenges and opportunities in deep decarbonization pathways for the Northeast Asian region as a whole is presented in this publication. We raise many questions, and yet have not so many answers. By publishing this text, we want to invite all interested and concerned parties to start thinking about and debating these new, but very up-to-date issues of deep transformation of our economies, industries, consumer behavior, and ways of living in climate-neutral patterns, in order that we can urgently meet the need to save our planet and keep it in good shape for the generations to come.
The set of problems relating to the South China Sea – a vast maritime area forming the strategic heartland of Southeast Asia – has traditionally loomed large in foreign policy priorities of the key powers shaping the regional geopolitical landscape. Currently, there are strong reasons for arguing that the South China Sea issue is very likely to increase its rank in the key priorities of the US, China and ASEAN.
Rural population decline has been observed in most developed and emerging economies but has been especially apparent in postsocialist countries. In this paper, we investigate the spatial patterns and the determinants of the rural population dynamics during the transition period from 1991 to 2010 in Tyumen Province, Russia, with the aim of better understanding the forces underlying depopulation. We use descriptive and exploratory statistical tools to analyze data from population censuses and district-level statistics of agriculture. Our results reveal distinct differences in the spatial clusters of the population increase and decline in the first and second decades of the post-Soviet era. We argue that these differences reflect the penetration of market relations into the countryside. The emergence of market forces initially advantaged the areas that were more suited to agriculture, which experienced population growth in the 1990s. Later, the drop in agricultural output, market-driven restructuring of farms, and introduction of labor-saving technologies reduced employment in agriculture. During the 2000s, labor opportunities in agriculture were no longer statistically related to rural population dynamics, while population dynamics in the villages have increasingly been determined by transport accessibility to larger markets, especially to the provincial capital. Governments need to be sensitive to these spatial and temporal population dynamics to foster opportunities in the countryside, avoid the negative side effects of depopulation on local economies and ensure the provision of social services.
Second home mobility is a well-known phenomenon in many countries, but is widely prominent in Russia, where millions of city-dwellers move to rural areas during the summertime. Combating long-term economic decline and depopulation, second home mobility creates a promising chance to revitalize the countryside. While this phenomenon is largely neglected by official statistics, we suggest using satellite imagery of night-time lights to investigate its spatial and temporal patterns. We did this with the example of Yaroslavl oblast in Russia. This region neighbors the Moscow Capital Region. It experiences a significant inflow of second home residents. By tracking the seasonal pixel-wise changes of night-time light radiance in monthly composites of satellite imagery from 2015 to 2019, we located hotspots of second homes and factors determining their spatial spread in rural areas. The results were evaluated with field research. Our results confirmed earlier conclusions that second homes’ locations in rural areas are largely determined by their proximity to Moscow, natural conditions, and transport accessibility. City-dwellers often choose small and even fully-abandoned villages for their second homes, which stresses the important role of second home mobility in preserving cultural landscapes. The proposed data and methods are limited by missing data for the northern regions during summer months and are more suitable for areas beyond the urban fringe where night-time lights data is not biased by the “overglow” of large cities.
This paper set out to reassess the effects of economic and social determinants of the probability of formal vocational training in India. Applying the four-level cross-classified logistic model to the 2011–2012 National Sample Survey data, the paper identified the association between formal training and ‘good jobs’ in large urban electrified firms that offer permanent employment and regular monthly salary to their skilled occupation workers. Nevertheless, India remains a country of severe training poverty. This study confirms that the traditional mindset of the society does contribute to the training poverty; however, this impact is much limited to the household level and religious groups, such as Christians, which are systematically excluded from formal training as compared to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. In contrast, the lower castes and deprived social backgrounds do not affect, as predicted by previous studies. Moreover, it is shown that unskilled males from the rural area of India were less likely to receive formal training as compared to educated single women
The deployment of the resilient city concept remains divided between those who see resilience as a set of (bottom-up) enabling capacities, and those who accuse it of (top- down) post-political tendencies that normalize the status quo and cast off the vulnerable. This paper offers a conceptual framework that overcomes this binary. We argue that a critical and trans-historical deployment of resilience to the actually-existing conditions of urban crisis can re-politicize the very conditions necessitating cities to be resilient. Politicizing the lived experiences of resilience draws attention to the relationality and agency of resilience: how resilience is constructed, negotiated and resourced, at which temporal and spatial scales, and with what political antecedents, consequences and power struggles. The paper considers the lived politics of the resilient city juxtaposed across two purposefully disparate case studies: Leningrad during the 872-day siege in 1941-1944, and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This unorthodox comparison both transgresses clear-cut ideological and epistemological conventions and develops a complex picture of how resilience unfolds in reality. These tragic events show a range of conditions that incorporated state-imposed cast-off top-down resilience and, in response, individual and community-led bottom-up resilience. We demonstrate the pre-eminent role of the state in how both disaster and resilience are constructed and (mis)managed, but also how cast-off resilience compels citizens and communities to activate mechanisms for negotiating disaster and recovery, generating a co-constituted resilience of cities and individuals.
This paper reviews the emergence and development of the “smart energy city” as an academic, normative, and applied concept. An examination of the academic literature since the early 2000s reveals the unfolding of spatiotemporal trends relating to this concept. It has been emerging to represent a sector-specified version of its sister concept of smart cities, also popularized in the past decade. However, the idea of the smart energy city has its own historic precursors and nationally specific trajectories. It rose from concerns with energy efficient/green buildings as well as smart grids for low carbon and distributed energy generation and distribution, which were later scaled up to the whole urban scale, and to embrace multiple other urban sectors and urban domains. By so doing, and combining the developments in ICT-led smart cities and sustainable energy, the notion of the smart energy city has come close to represent a digitally-mediated variant of low carbon cities. It can, thus, be conceptualized as a blend of smart cities and low carbon cities. National and urban case studies help to further distinguish “actually existing” projects, patterns, and conceptualization relating to both smart cities and smart energy cities and barriers to their practical integration. A greater focus on intersystem integration and a multistakeholder approach more recently offers a stronger representation of interdisciplinarity and conveys the complexity of the system involved, where humans and social systems become increasingly more central.
Shrinking cities – places which need to ‘narrow down’ the too spacious settings – pose challenges to the mainstream urban planning which naturalizes growth and direct approaches advocating it. While shrinking cities are located worldwide, responses to the phenomenon are place-specific depending on the knowledge and resources of decision-makers, as well as the discourses of the desired spatial development. In this sense, it is still not precisely clear why and how urban planning changes under conditions of shrinkage. Since the beginning of the 1990s, many Russian cities began to lose population. Excluding the oil and gas provinces, the Russian Arctic has become a ‘showcase’ of the country’s population exodus. Our contribution is based on empirical evidence from Vorkuta (Komi Republic, Russia) an Arctic city with around 54 thousand people which is among the fastest shrinking cities of the country. Due to the simultaneous need for improving housing conditions, dealing with negative physical effects of shrinkage, and high maintenance costs of housing and infrastructure the local stakeholders had to come up with a new approach toward planning – the so-called ‘controlled shrinkage’ that helped reduce sprawl and fragmentation.
Re-using and regenerating derelict and abandoned areas constitutes an important element in sustainable land use policy and planning. This paper explores the phenomenon of derelict farm premises in South Bohemia, the Czech Republic. It analyses the origin and extent of this phenomenon as well as land use targets applied to such sites by planning documents. A large number of derelict farm premises have emerged on former collectivized lands. According to local territorial zoning plans, agricultural use prevails as the reuse designation for these sites. However, they are still significantly less frequently planned to be used in agriculture than areas currently in active agricultural use and are more frequently planned to be converted into housing, public buildings, or industrial activities. Overall, strategies for the planned utilization of derelict premises are found to be contingent on temporal and spatial factors. While many long-term derelict premises are planned to be converted into non-agricultural use, newly emerged ones are more likely to retain the agricultural designation. In terms of spatial diversity, rural municipalities of the inner peripheries emphasize housing development rather than industrial activity. Further, by analysing successful regeneration projects accomplished for abandoned premises since 2004, it is found that they generally adhere to the requirements of territorial zoning plans.
Spatial inequality can lead to unexpected consequences, especially in large countries like Russia. State officials’ attempts to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic led to a national lockdown, which was supposed to dramatically reduce the daily mobility of people and therefore the likelihood of infection. At the same time, the Russian government did not introduce an emergency regime, and the measures to support the population and business were criticized by experts as insufficient. Using daily data on mobility in 308 municipalities in Russia, we examined the unevenness of the decline in the level of mobility depending on the level of wages. The results show that the poorer the municipality, the smaller was the mobility decline, that is, the poorer areas were more vulnerable to the pandemic risks. The work also illustrates the larger amplitude of mobility in rich versus poor areas during the period of exiting from the lockdown.
During the last decades, the Russian countryside has been strongly losing in the number of residents. People are moving to large cities, mainly, to regional capitals. Migration outflow increases with distance from cities. Centripetal tendencies in migration can be strengthened or mitigated in the local context due to the specific properties of a territory, rooted in its history. The authors consider the configuration of a settlement network as one such contextual factor. The study poses two questions: do the topological properties of a settlement network, namely, connectivity and centralization, affect the rate the settlement network is shrinking, and how do the population dynamics in individual settlements depend on their position in a settlement network. The authors addressed these questions using Tyumen oblast as a case region, where they studied the settlement network dynamics in 2002–2010. The settlement network was divided into segments according to the cluster analysis based on the shortest road distances matrix. Then the authors measured the connectivity and centralization of each segment and centrality metrics for individual settlements. The results showed no statistical relationship between the topological properties of the network segments and their depopulation rates. Yet, for individual settlements, the position in the settlement network was a significant factor for population dynamics. Together with the population size, the centrality metrics explained 23–24% of the variance in population dynamics among the settlements between 2002 and 2010. Outside the metropolitan area of Tyumen, the settlements with high interdistrict centrality were growing. It is noteworthy that the configuration of the settlement network at the interdistrict scale rooted back in times of the Russian colonization of Western Siberia in the 17th–19th centuries and largely followed the river network pattern. In the 20th century, the rivers lost their transport role, yet the roads connected settlements within existed settlement groups reaffirming the riverine pattern.