Journal 2019#4

Analysing and Modelling of Trends in the Development of the Territorial Settlement System in Russia

Population change is a very important indicator of the social and economic systemís state and development. This change is most clearly observed in the long term. In the second half of 20th century, the studies on the development of Russian settlement system have established that in the recent years population growth is almost entirely caused by the growth of urban population migration. Thus, we analyse the impact of the citiesí size on growth rates, and highlight territorial features and the effects from the economyís structural reorganization. The analysis has demonstrated the citiesí structural transformation. The residentsí concentration in large localities is a well-established vector of the settlement systemís development in our country. The proportion of the population living in million-person cities has increased by 54.3 % over the past 50 years. The small and medium-sized towns act as the main sources of migrants and ďsuppliersĒ of labour and intellectual capital. In our research, we used methodology based on systems analysis of both urban development and group settlement systems. We applied methods of structural and dynamic analysis, and economic and mathematical modelling. The Zip fís curve for Russian cities with a population of at least 100 thousand people indicates that a group of 11 million-person cities is dominant in Russia. Moreover, we presented the results of a cross-country comparison of settlement patterns. The comparison has revealed that the situation in the Russian Federation doesnít fully correspond to the situation in developed or developing countries. The analysis of populationís structure and dynamics in Russian cities has allowed predicting the change in the urban population until 2025 (growth of about 1.8 %). The population growth rate is expected to be higher in the million-person cities. The increasing contrast of settlement , the expanding gap between megacities and provincial towns, formation of an agglomerative system of settlements will inevitably lead to an aggravation of infrastructure problems, which requires a transition to controlled development. Taking into account the identified trends will enhance the efficiency of forecasting the countryís economic development and the strategy of the settlement systemís optimization in Russia.