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Social Effects of Agglomeration. An Assessment of Intraregional Disparities in the South of Russia

Anna MIKHAYLOVA*1,2, Vasilisa GOROCHNAYA1,3 
* Corresponding author
1 Immanuel Kant  Baltic Federal  University, Kaliningrad, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
2 Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University  “LETI”, Saint-Petersburg, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
3 Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Pages: 113-126   

Abstract. The growth of cities against the background of transport infrastructure development has led to the formation of urban agglomerations as systems of interconnected cities. Rural areas are the foundation for the growth of new actively developing urban spatial systems and become donors of labour resources. The redistribution of population between the city and the country entails a number of social effects. This study aims to assess the impact of agglomeration processes on the social sphere of municipalities in the region. The main focus of the study is the dynamically developing monocentric agglomeration in the south of Russia – the Rostov agglomeration. The methodological approach is based on assessing the gaps between different types of municipalities depending on their territorial location relative to the agglomeration centre presented in four groups of social indicators: urbanization, labour mobility, housing, and quality of life. The Agglomeration Social Impact Index was calculated. We learned there is significant heterogeneity in the level of social development among different types of municipalities. The decisive effect on social gaps is exerted by three factors: agglomeration, urbanization, transport and logistics. The most favourable living conditions are found in the municipalities located in the immediate vicinity of the agglomeration core.

K e y w o r d s:  urban agglomeration, agglomeration effect, urbanization, urban population, rural settlements, regional inequality, regional divergence, Rostov agglomeration, Russia