Critical Analysis of Socio-Environmental Transitions in Institutions, Politics and Practices in Russia: Towards More Sustainable Cities

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Polina ERMOLAEVA, Kazan Federal University, Russian Federation
The study provides holistic insights on the post-soviet Russia’s structural socio-environmental transformations in the technological, institutional, political domains and actors’ everyday life. The research adopt a multi-level perspective on change including examining the interactions of different level of transitions. Based on the semi-structured interviews with various actors, mass media discourse analysis and desk research, the research portrayed that over the past 20 years, the structural and functional organizations of Russian cities have been changing significantly. The development of large transnational oil and gas production, the redistribution of private property, changes in geopolitical situation, the seizure of land in forest and water protection zones in cities and villages, the tightening of legislation regarding public participation in the discussion and decision-making processes have changed the social landscape of post-soviet Russian cities. In a micro level, retrospective analysis portrays a tendency toward the routinization of environmental values and in much less degree - the environmental practices. The study showed that Russians express paternalistic values and switch the responsibility of a healthy environment from themselves to the governmental officials when it comes to real action. The research suggest that despite concentrating entirely on the elaborating of state programs towards developing sustainable cities, more attention should be paid to the empowerment of local communities due to their stronger engagement in the environmental decision-making, introduction the accessible green infrastructure and new planning policies integrated with taxation and financial instruments.