Rural-Urban ?ontinuum in the Context of Urbanization, De-Urbanization and Recurrent Mobility of Population
Rural-urban Сontinuum in the Context of Urbanization, De-urbanization and Recurrent Mobility of Population
The report examines some features of urbanization in Russia, where the growth of large cities is combined with a sparse urban network. The Russia’s socioeconomic space is severely polarized and crowned by a pronounced dominance of Moscow and its environs. On the other hand, intensifying social and spatial links between cities and rural areas manifest themselves in the accelerated formation of the rural-urban continuum. Seasonal dacha-type sub- and de-urbanization and the so called otkhod (a kind of long lasting labor commuting) are the Russian forms of recurrent spatial mobility. This leads to a pulsation of settlement patterns. The two streams are interrelated, as the temporal urban work and lodging of Russian otkhodniks instead of resettling eventually prolongs the life of peripheral localities where their families stay. This habitability, in its turn, facilitates the dacha development of small settlements. The authors try to reveal the reasons for labor mobility in Russian cities and the variety of dachas as well as their impact on both the urban and rural lifestyles. Mass movements of vacationers and workers and their two-house life complicate the knowledge of how many people actually live and work in countryside, in small and in big cities. The phenomena also affect the development of Russia’s spaces and local budgeting.