Journal section "Science, technology and innovation studies"

Digitalization of Small and Medium-Sized Cities in the European North of Russia: Trends and Prospects

Sekushina I.A.

Volume 15, Issue 6, 2022

Sekushina I.A. (2022). Digitalization of small and medium- sized cities in the European North of Russia: Trends and prospects. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(6), 124–138. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.7

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.7

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
Rapid introduction and spread of digital technology in all spheres of life have lead to changes in the economy and society. Digitalization seems to be one of the promising directions in terms of addressing economic, environmental and social issues related to the development of territories, including small and medium-sized cities. However, scientific literature has not paid sufficient attention to the digital transformation of such settlements and their territorial specifics. The aim of our work is to study trends and prospects related to the digitalization of small and medium-sized cities in the European North of Russia. We present a number of indicators characterizing the basic conditions for the development of digital technology in the region. We analyze the extent of penetration of digital services in small and medium-sized cities of the European North of Russia and identify the presence of a developed online trading infrastructure alongside a relatively low level of distribution of services. Main barriers to the digitalization of small and medium-sized cities are high cost of developing and implementing digital technologies and services, lack of funding, and a low level of digital competencies in the population. We propose solutions to the above problems and put forward some conceptual provisions determining the choice of priority areas of digitalization to achieve the sustainable development goals in northern small and medium-sized cities. We focus our attention on the importance of taking into account not only the opportunities, but also the risks of digitalization; the expediency of choosing priority areas of digitalization of the economy for various types of cities; the need to introduce digital technology to address social and environmental issues. The findings of our study may be useful to the public authorities of RF constituent entities in finalizing regional strategies on digital transformation of economic sectors, social sphere and public administration


european north of russia, small and medium-sized cities, digitalization, European North of Russia, information and communication and digital technology, “smart” city

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