Dean — Alexei Novikov
Deputy Dean — Vera Leonova
Address: 13, bld 4 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow 101000,
Phone: +7 (495) 772-95-90 ext. 12-605, 12-610
The grand challenge of accessing fresh water and sanitation is a global concern. The intensity of challenge depends on the geographical location as well as the level of socio-economic development of individual countries. The present paper first reviews the key water-related global trends and examines the global agenda on water issues. Next the focus is turned on Russia. Despite of being one of the water-rich countries in the world, Russia faces a number of substantial administrative and structural issues in the water sector. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a long-term strategy for the management of this infinite, but strategic resource. The present paper develops long-term scenarios and strategies for the Russian water sector towards the year 2030. The study draws upon an earlier horizon scanning activity that identified a set of global trends and uncertainties related to water sector. This horizon scanning work is extended into alternative futures for the Russian water sector by using a combination of Foresight methods including scenario analysis, data mining, and various expert methods. Scenarios developed are characterized by a set of qualitative and quantitative factors and indicators of future developments in three key domains for the water sector: (i) the sustainability of water systems; (ii) water use by households and industry; and (iii) new water products and services. Scenarios present four alternative trajectories for the water sector that may also be applied for certain countries whose water sector is comparable with the Russia. Among the scenarios developed in the study, it is concluded that the most probable ones are Problem conservation and Losses and accidents. However, there is a possibility to revert these scenarios into more desirable trajectories, which are presented in other scenarios. For instance, a variety of new clean water technologies may be widely applied to achieve the Nearly perfect future (visionary) scenario.
The article presents a new methodology for estimating gross urban product (the gross domestic product by city or metropolitan level) in Russia under extremely low statistical data availability about economy performance at the local level. These estimates provide new analytical instruments for assessing disparities in economic development between more than 1,000 Russian cities and other areas, and cities’ contributions to GDP as well as for comparing indicators of Russian cities with those of foreign countries.
There have been no cultural geography in the USSR for half a century, and human geography was narrowed to economic geography alone. However the tradition of Russian anthropogeography (L. Berg) of the 1910s was one of the first in the world to focus on cultural landscapes.
The representatives of the official Soviet geography, from N. Baransky in the 1930s to V. Gokhman in the 1980s, stated the need for ‘social & cultural geography of Soviet nation(s)’. Landscape studies were ideologically suppressed and were focused strictly on natural landscapes.
When cultural geography finally emerged after the collapse of the USSR, it turned out to be rooted neither in Russian anthropogeographic tradition, nor in Anglo-American cultural geography. Making their own way, Russian cultural geographers were inspired rather by French philosophers and gave birth to a specific framework of ‘gumanitarnaya geografiya’ (‘humanitarian geography’ in word-by-word translation), which I argue to be likely to be translated as ‘GeoHumanities’.
This GeoHumanities doesn’t look like traditional Sauerian cultural geography. Its main themes seem similar to those of new cultural / humanistic geography, but its trends & prospects differ a lot, as there were no revolutionary changes like those between Sauerian vs. new cultural / humanistic vs. critical geography. There’s no other cultural geography research in Russia, except GeoHumanities school focused on cultural landscapes, geographical images, spatial myths & regional identities, majorly in modern urban areas & deeply rooted in literature & art discourses with case-studies mostly presenting the imageries of historical towns.
Before 1990, the Soviet government regarded private rental housing as a necessary evil that performs the useful function of mitigating housing shortage problems and supporting labor mobility… After 1990 and during the first two decades of the housing market’s development, Russian governments viewed rental housing as a residual segment of housing policy …
This chapter aims to shed light on the role that the private rental sector, in its various versions, played in centrally planned economics during the Soviet period and how it affected the development of housing systems during the period of transformation
Two special kinds of mental maps emerging from the Russian geohumanities are described in the article. Russian geohumanities are regarded as a specific Russian Post-Soviet tradition of cultural geography that is focused on space perceptions & interpretations. The semiotic model of ‘place as palimpsest’ typical for Russian mythogeography is used to describe the multilayered structure of a place, formed by different cultures’ visions of one & the same place. Two opposing meanings of mental maps are stated, namely, 1) mental spatial information, representing the image of the city & the orientations schemes, & 2) cartographical geovisualization, which reflects individual or group perception of space. Mental maps, combining the traits of both big classes with the example of K. Lynch’s generalized urban maps based on the results of individual cities’ perceptions gained by various research methods, are argued to be the most prospective. Urban ‘mythogeographical’ mental maps from the Russian geohumanities are regarded as another kind of that compromise, being transformed from the diagram-like ‘image-geographical’ maps by localizing place myths into ‘sign places’ of a city.
A number of studies have emphasized the importance of the educational potential of cities and revealed that home district characteristics influence children’s educational identity and access to educational resources. However, little attention is paid to the conditions and limits of children’s access to the city environment as well as the geographies of their outdoor activities, i. e. how far from home they travel when hanging out, how this distance can change as a child grows up, how often children attend specific places, and how the geographies of their mobility depend on their personal characteristics. A survey of Moscow school students of grades 5–10 is used to explore the basic characteristics of children’s independent mobility, including their everyday mobility, i. e. frequented places and the distance to them. It is shown that children normally travel within a radius of 1 km from home; the central part of the city and the neighboring districts are visited less often than places within the home district. A comparison of everyday mobility of high- and low-performing students has proved that the proportion of children whose most frequented place is centers for after-school education is higher among high-performers. Yet, no correlation was found between the size of the “habitat” and academic performance. Moreover, places for leisure, including leisure education, of families have been described based on a survey of over 700 mothers of school students. Families with high levels of cultural capital and good financial standing have demonstrated greater diversity of shared leisure activities and comprise a higher proportion of those attending family courses, public lectures, or other urban events. Such families exploit the educational leisure opportunities provided by the city more actively than others.
The article describes how the participation of public transport systems constructs the toponymic device of Moscow. The nature of transit transport systems makes possible them to remain in a dynamic relationship with other objects, personalities and events, thus creating an ever-changing placings of memory fixed in the movements of citizens on a practical level. Moscow subway plan plays the role of one of the core image elements, which allows to describe in general terms what is inside the city, where is a particular district. The research hypothesis is that the names of metro stations announce less about the pre-Soviet landscape where they are located, then the names of railway platforms. To test the hypothesis, the authors refer to the history of the development of Muscovites’ navigation practices, as well as estimate the proportion of local historical names in both transport systems. As a result, we have found that, in spite of the insignificant differences in the proportions of historical names, names of railway platforms is much more likely to reflect local history than the Metro. Moscow metro establishes order among disparate parts of the city neglecting sometimes their content and location. That enabled the Metro scheme to replace the city, which is now forced to use the scheme as the only source of self-description. The integration of the newly launched MCC in the current metro transport scheme is indicative, because the old railroad has to be entered in the "usual" image of the city with the regular shape of the Circle Line and the asymmetry in favor of the central part of the city. The "unsightly" shape of the new ring gives in to a canonical image in the process of creating an updated scheme, introducing new distortions and old names at the same time. However, we note that the toponymic device of Moscow is forced to reflect not only local names, as well as directions to the cities and countries that are parts of the immense imperial space.
Th e article has been prepared following the results of the Territorial Accessibility of Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation research carried out by the Urban Economics Fund. Th e research attempts to assess the share of the Russian population living in settlements with limited territorial accessibility of local self-government. Th e authors give concrete examples to show that a signifi cant share of the country population lives in conditions of limited accessibility of local self-government and the processes of transformation of municipal districts to city districts taking place in the country make the problem even worse. Th e article provides possible solutions of the problem.