Journal section "Regional economics"

Modern Development of Small and Medium-Sized Cities: Trends and Drivers

Rastvortseva S.N., Manaeva I.V.

Volume 15, Issue 1, 2022

Rastvortseva S.N., Manaeva I.V. (2022). Modern development of small and medium-sized cities: Trends and drivers. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(1), 110–127. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.1.79.6

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.1.79.6

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The processes of urbanization occurring in the world and in Russia, in addition to large cities and megacities, also affect small and medium-sized cities. However, while for the former there is a great deal of research on both the inner-city environment and socio-economic development in general, for the latter there is a lack of such studies. The main idea of the article is that an effective policy for the development of a city requires a comprehensive analysis of its place and role in the regional system and an understanding of the factors that ensure economic growth and create attractive conditions for the population. The purpose of the paper is to identify trends in and drivers of socio-economic development of small and medium-sized cities. The study identified problems and “bottlenecks” in the analysis of urban development. They include the weakness of methodological approaches to the assessment of current trends and factors in the development of small and medium-sized cities, taking into account their specifics, as well as the lack of necessary statistical information for a full-fledged analysis. The scientific novelty of the study lies in the fact that we propose our own methodology for determining the trends and factors in development of small and medium-sized cities, which differs from traditional approaches by including the analysis of the distribution of cities in the regional system (according to Zipf’s law) in the dynamics and constructing a system of econometric models of the influence of factors on social and economic development. Testing the proposed approach in the Belgorod Oblast revealed a trend of divergence of small and medium-sized cities, increasing imbalances in population distribution, and the growth of small urban and rural settlements near Belgorod. The scientific hypothesis of the study is that the socio-economic situation in small and medium-sized cities is primarily positively influenced by investment in fixed capital and only then by such factors as an increase in housing stock, educational development, the work of sports and cultural institutions. The factors contributing to the social and economic development of cities are investments in fixed capital, the total number of residents, especially schoolchildren, the housing supply, and the development of sports and cultural institutions. The research findings are of practical value for the design and implementation of development policies for small and medium-sized cities in Russia


regional development, urbanization, zipf’s law, small and medium-sized cities, economic geography, impact factors, urban planning, urban growth, creative class, Zipf’s law, Belgorod Oblast of Russia

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