VolRC RAS scientific journal (printed edition)
13.04.202404.2024с 01.01.2024
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Journal section "Sustainable development of territories, branches, and production complexes"

Methodology of the Optimal City Size Determining

Manaeva I.V.

3 (107), 2020

Manaeva I.V. Methodology of the optimal city size determining. Problems of Territory's Development, 2020, no. 3 (107), pp. 45–58. DOI: 10.15838/ptd.2020.3.107.3

DOI: 10.15838/ptd.2020.3.107.3

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
Since the 1960s, foreign urban economists and geographers have been working on the problems related to the determining the optimal size of a city. There is a consensus in the scientific literature that net rising incomes exist until a certain urban size. The purpose of the research is to develop and test a methodology of determining the optimal size of a city in modern Russian conditions. The scientific novelty of the study consists in the identification of cities beyond (or below) their theoretically identified optimal size. The tasks of the research are to conduct a detailed analysis of methods for the optimal city size determining in foreign literature; to develop and test a methodology for determining the optimal size of a city in Russia, taking into account the characteristics of the regional economy and the availability of statistical data. Using the available data from the municipal statistics of the Russian Federation, the authors consider the indicators of the optimal city size, and identify traditional and non-traditional urban benefits and costs. The method was tested on a sample of Russian cities, five of which are located in the Central Federal district, three in the North−Western, four in the Southern, two in the North Caucasus, six in the Volga, four in the Ural, four in the Siberian, and six in the Far Eastern Federal districts. After comparing the empirical results predicted by the model with the actual population for each city, the authors conclude that the difference range is from 32 (the city of Magadan) to 176% (the city of Nizhny Novgorod). A large proportion of the cities surveyed are below the “optimal” size, which confirms that they have potential for growth. The practical significance of the results obtained is to provide the possibility to create a methodological tool for evaluating urban systems in the region, which can become the basis for developing an algorithm for strategic planning of spatial development of cities in the Russian Federation. Using the methodology of the optimal city size estimating to create such an algorithm will be one of the promising areas of future research


city, optimal city size, estimation methodology, urban economy

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