Urban Studies - rubric Мегаполисы
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Zakondyrin A.E. - Local self-government as a mechanism for managing large cities with state status pp. 30-38


Abstract: This research examines the experience of Berlin and Paris - major cities that combine both, state and municipal functions. The practice of organizing local government in these cities cannot be fully applied to major Russian cities with Federal status, because foreign countries lack the firm division between state and municipal bodies, which is established by the Russian Constitution. Nonetheless, the experience of management organization in those cities is of great interest and may prove extremely useful for long-term plans for the development of Russia's largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Comparative analysis shows that combining the functions of a municipality and a state authority does not have a considerable impact on the management model of a major city, or city agglomeration. It is evident that not all elements of the major city management system, employed in international practice are applicable to the realities of Russia, but the discovered trends, without a doubt, need to be considered when addressing appropriate issues in Moscow and St. Petersburg - like dividing functions between multiple levels of authority and broad practice of voluntary cooperation between municipalities in terms of providing services.
Kuzmina N.V. - Cultural landscapes of Russian metropolises: symbolic-semiotic aspect pp. 51-58


Abstract: This article gives special attention to the question of formation of the cultural landscape as a constant process of semiosis, which instrument in the Russian metropolises is the symbolic-semiotic engineering. The traditional component of cultural landscapes penetrates all sociocultural systems and procures their existence. It forms the “collective memory” of urban community and separate social groups, thus ensuring the succession in their development that manifests as an essential condition in preserving social order. The innovative component, in turn, expresses the ability of metropolitan society to adjust to the rapidly transforming surrounding world, which allows solving the most relevant for the society and human issues. Methodological foundation of uncovering the imagery of Russian metropolises contains the theory of micro-urbanism of O. Berdnikova and O. Zaporozhets; visual sociology (visual anthropology) of R. Flaherty, J. Rouchm, R. Gardner, M. Mead; as well as the theory of spatial representation of culture of Setha M. Low. The author comes to a conclusion that in the process of symbolic-semiotic engineering of the Russian metropolises,  the key centers of which are the cultural landscape, it is necessary to reproduce the familiar to city residents symbols and signs, structure the images of metropolis that are capable to encourage the social creativity as an essential mechanism of the dynamics of urban culture.
Matiukhin I.V. - Loneliness in a metropolis pp. 54-75


Abstract: The growing relevance of research on psychological states of residents as a factor impacting the development of megacities and towns has inspired researchers to seek qualitative and quantitative indicators for varying states of solitude. This article offers the analysis and results of an original psych diagnostic study conducted in the context of dependence in modern urbanization. The author offers an analysis of the problem of solitude as a theoretical, psychological construct, and its co-relation with the development level of habitats. Using psychometric methods of "differential questionnaire for solitude experience", the author measures and illustrates the state of qualitative and quantitative expression of the state of solitude in a metropolis such as Moscow, and on the samples of smaller towns, such as Suvorov. The author offers comparative description charts and percentage histograms, outlines the main theses of the test method within the structure of chief indicators. The article also shows the semantic manifestation of solitude as a dualistic psychological phenomenon that doesn’t only consist of the dysphoria caused by the lack of psychological intimacy, but also offers a positive resource for self-realization and self-actualization.
Notman O. - The concept of 15-minute city as the basis for the model of sustainable development of a megacity in terms of modern risks pp. 73-85


Abstract: The goal of this research lies in discussing the key provisions of Carlos Moreno’s concept of 15-minute city in the context of issues caused COVID-19 pandemic. Besides the original texts by C. Moreno, the article employs the following data: 1) publications in the international scientometric databases (Scopus, WoS2) dedicated to positive effects of implementation of the concept of 15-minute city and its analogues; 2) documents of international organizations (C40 Cities, OECD, UN-Habitat3 that recommend the key vectors of sustainable urban development policy to the national governments; 3) strategies of global megacities that embarked upon practical implementation of the concept of 15-minute city. The concept at hand is based on the idea of spatial-temporal hyper-proximity of all essential functions and services of the city. The concentrated infrastructure (place of residence, work, retail, education, health, and leisure) within micro-scale spatial structures contributes to the formation of more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable cities. The global COVID-19 pandemic, which demonstrated the urgent need for “upgrading” the local living conditions, stimulated the adoption of this concept on the level of international organizations and progressive foreign megacities, as well as interest of the Russian Federation in its implementation. The conducted analysis leads to the conclusion that the model of 15-minute city, which allows effectively counteracting the new risks (including the unexpected circumstances), can be adapted to spatial peculiarities of the particular cities and needs of the residents. This article is an invitation to a scientific discussion on the prospects of transformation of the Russian megacities into a network of 15-minute cities, as well as the search for methodological solutions in the research dedicated to differentiation of the quality of urban environment in the micro-spatial dimension.
Cherednyakova A.B., Dobrynina Y.S. - Image of the territory and its transformation in modern conditions (on the example of Chelyabinsk and Chelyabinsk Region) pp. 171-179


Abstract: Image of the territory regarded as a distinct attribute that is responsible of the overall atmosphere in the region. For more viable framing of image of the territory, the region or city can be viewed as quasi-corporation, including into methodology of consideration the instruments of image marketing.  Of great importance is the empirical experience of structuring the image of the region, which carries a spontaneous character based on the historically established meanings of the territory, as well as the image formed on the basis of the declared policy and account of determinants that can shroud the region in one or another image. Using the example of Chelyabinsk Oblast and the city of Chelyabinsk, the author examines the impact of ecological determinant of the image as a factor of negative attitude towards the city and the region of its residents our outside audience, which also lowers the rest of the indexes. The article reveals the influence of industrial associations on image of the city. The authors argue the need for manageable formation of image of the city; otherwise, it significantly distorts and underrates its true characteristics in mass consciousness. It is underlined that positive image of the regions can improve the living standards of its population.
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