Throughout the period after the municipal reform in 2003, the governing of Russian cities has been changing. A city as an object of governance is located at the intersection of interests of different levels of public authorities and is not limited only to local authorities This article investigates how budget autonomy of Russian cities has been changing for the last 16 years, and how exogenous economic shocks and large-scale federal initiatives such as the “May Decrees” have influenced the budget autonomy of Russian cities. The paper considers a hypothesis that there was a transition to multi-level governance of Russian cities in 2006–2019, which led to significant reduction of the budget autonomy. Budgets of the 35 largest cities of Russia (except for city-regions like Moscow and Saint Petersburg) were collected and analyzed in terms of their revenue and expenditure sections to test the proposed hypothesis. The relationship between the economic level of development and budget sufficiency was investigated with cluster analysis. The main result of this research is that Russian cities have become dependent on the financial grants from regional governments since there is no national policy of stimulating the economic development of cities. The national economic crisis of 2014 accelerated the process of governance centralization. In addition, the budget autonomy of municipalities was reduced due to the fact that achieving indicators of the May Decrees had become the primary objective for the public authorities. The share of the income tax in local budgets increased significantly although the share and diversity of other income sources decreased.
The dichotomy of the market initiative and central planning is considered to be one of the main issues in the governance of public transport provision. It relates to the rights of either the operators or authorities to design public transport services. The advantages and disadvantages of these models can motivate the reforms of public transport governance. Such reforms usually result in significant changes in the technical specifications of the public transport services. In this paper, we attempt to study the changes in the Moscow bus network introduced within the reform of public transport governance, the so-called ‘new model of partnership with private operators’ scheme. In 2016, all market-initiated minibus routes were replaced by those directly designed by the Moscow authorities. Since then, the private branch of the Moscow bus system came under a central planning regime with no room for market initiative. The large changes in the network in 2016 opened up a discussion on the impact of public transport governance on the network structure. This paper provides an analysis of the land passenger transport network of 2015 and 2016. It can be useful to describe the paths of network development under different regulatory regimes.
The author considers a non-cash fare payment system as an effective tool to reduce the shadow income of transport organizations. The object is shadow economy in regions of Russia. The subject is the public passenger transport sphere. The author studies buses on municipal regular transport routes (city and suburbs). The category of buses also includes buses of small capacity, i.e. «Minibuses». The scientific novelty of the work is to obtain quantitative and qualitative estimates of the extent and consequences of the shadow sector of the provision in the public passenger transport sphere in regions of Russia. The work takes into account a non-cash fare system using debit, credit, transport and social (preferential) cards. It was revealed that in 2018, a non-cash system was installed in 56 regions and in 29 regions was not installed. Based on the panel data analysis, considering endogeneity, AR (1), heteroskedasticity, the work revealed, where the statistical significance at p-value <= 10%, a positive effect of a non-cash fare system on the number of passengers carried on municipal buses and commercial buses. The average annual increase in the number of passengers, as a result of the installation of a non-cash system, amounted to 5840 thousand people. The data obtained showed that from 2014 to 2017, the amount of the shadow revenue of transport organizations was 7.2 billion rubles and the amount of unpaid taxes to the budget ranged from 0.4 to 2.6 billion rubles. The author concludes that the installation of a non-cash fare system leads to a decrease in the shadow economy in the public passenger transport services.
For Russia, with its vast territory, reliable transport links are traditionally of particular importance for maintaining territorial integrity, enhancing geopolitical influence and competitiveness in the international market. An efficient road network mostly determines the country's economic growth opportunities through the development of regions, providing conditions and opportunities for the free movement of goods and services, cargo and passengers.In 2016, the Institute of transport Economics and transport policy of the Higher School of Economics built a gravity model describing trade flows between the subjects of the Russian Federation. It showed that when the travel time between regions decreases by 1%, the volume of trade between them increases by 1.7%. However, the current state of the road infrastructure does not allow us to meet the needs of the Russian economy and the competitiveness of international cargo transportation through the territory of Russia.
Distant urban residential areas in Post-Socialist cities and beyond lack original / authentic urban environments and attractiveness and thus the very existence of their local identities is contested. People are not rooted in the urban districts. This paper aims to use the potential of the theory of regional geography & cultural geography combined as an effective theoretical framework to envision the uniqueness of a typical standardized residential area in the outskirts of Moscow (Russia), Yasenevo. Yasenevo has accumulated multiple layers of symbolic and semantic capital reproduced by its residents as a system of spatial representations. The analysis of this system of representations was carried out through a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews with residents of the district, supplemented using several additional methods, e.g. urban planning and statistical analysis, analysis of literary texts and historical documents, and some others. Yasenevo is represented as a “green” area with a plenty of parks surrounding it and making it look also like a clearly bordered ‘island’ within the city structure. Its specific architectural project is emphasized through the green areas inside the district, semi-circled streets and buildings and the usage of geomorphological conditions in the district’s skyline, as originally suggested by the architect Yakov Belopolsky. Yasenevo is paradoxically seen as a “young” area by its dwellers, though its historical heritage (3 former noble estates) is also a part of the place imagery. Funding. The publication was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019 (grant no. 19–04– 052) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5–100”.
Most researchers believe that states which are rich in natural resources are more able to maintain political stability in comparison to countries without such an access to exceptional profits. However, some rent resource autocracies are unanimously considered fragile, and their ability to extract maximum rents does not always contribute to political and economic security during price fluctuations. Based on the idea that the state’s ability to extract resources imposes on it certain obligations, the research question touches upon the quality of governance as a supposed core factor, which mediates the resource dependence and political security in terms of stateness and the ability to fulfil the “social contract.” The latter is described as implementation of political decisions, provision of public goods and services. However, the quality of governance is substantially different in various autocratic systems. Using case-study and descriptive statistics, the authors try to reveal the context and ascertain which factors trigger the horizon length of autocrats` political strategies during rising and falling resource prices. The authors affirm that resource dependence negatively affects political security less due to an absence of economic growth during price breaks, and more due to the struggle of political elites for the redistribution of resources, absence of disciplinary mechanisms, weak representation and accountability systems, and poor enabling environments as a basis for quality of resource management. The authors conclude that political security in autocratic resource economies is achieved through the coexistence of political will and triggers, conducive to specifying the length of the planning horizon.
In 2016 passenger service on the Moscow Central Circle (MCC, a circular urban rail line in Moscow) was reintroduced after its closure in 1934. The launch of this line allowed us to study the effects of a transport infrastructure project using observed rather than model-forecasted data.
We collected empirical data on changes in real estate values, land use, transportation flows and travel behaviour as consequences of integration of the new rail line into existing urban transit system.
The research project consists of several parts. First, we studied residential rent rates. The rent growth effect was most substantial in the residential areas around Moscow Central Circle stations without access to existing metro stations.
Second, we used the Node-Place model to evaluate the magnitude of the potential (and officially planned) land use changes in the long-run, i.e. the increase in the place value. We revealed that the long-term MCC impact is modest, because the opportunities for land use change around the MCC stations are currently limited and therefore the increased node value is not accompanied by the proportional change of the place value.
Third, we used Moscow Metro origin-destination matrices for typical working days in March 2016 and March 2017 to evaluate the impact of the MCC on the redistribution of passenger traffic volumes. We observed an insignificant decline in load level of Metro Circle line and radial lines and interchanges in the city centre.
Finally, we studied changes in travel behaviour. The majority of respondents do not use the MCC to reach locations near new stations but use it mostly to optimise their existing routes, which also supports the findings of the relatively low place value of the territories around the new stations.
Repeating the same measurements regularly will allow us to monitor the changes in the use of the MCC and track its performance and its effects over time. This paper covers the short-term effects that occurred in the first 12 months of the MCC operation.
Urban population is growing worldwide. Our societies are facing grand challenges like climate change and growing inequalities between people. There is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role. Easy and environmentally sustainable mobility options are called for in most cities. For these to attract users, they need to be safe and pleasant, providing positive experiences and well-being in addition to efficiency in time or cost.
NECTAR conference is organized with a title “Towards Human Scale Cities – Open and Happy” to reflect the new requirements of urban transportation. This 15th NECTAR conference, organized in Helsinki 5th - 7th June 2019, provides presentations by world-class keynotes Mikael Colville-Andersen and Professor Tim Schwanen, who approach human scale mobility from the viewpoints of a designer and a researcher. More than 140 scientific presentations explore advancements in the field of transport, communication and mobility, with a particular focus on good quality mobility options for people. The focus of the conference is urban transportation and the new possibilities that open data and digital technologies provide for mobility solutions and their research. Presentations provide food for thought concerning mobility choices and quality, new mobility solutions like MaaS, and policies that are implemented to support them.
Helsinki offers an interesting environment for the 2019 NECTAR conference. It is the home of the busiest passenger harbor in Europe with a twin-city development with Tallinn across the bay, and a major air transportation hub between Europe and Asia. It is one of the fastest growing capital regions in Europe, with large densification developments taking place in old logistic centers: harbor areas of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama and a train depot in Pasila. Public transportation is valued high by citizens, as well as politicians and planners making investment decisions for the future. First robotized buses are in operation and MaaS solutions are emerging. New bike sharing system is one of the most used in the world and has expanded to cover most of the city region. As everywhere in Europe, new forms of micromobility from electronic scooters to electric longboards are appearing on the streets making planners and police puzzled. The city has profiled itself as an open city: large amounts of open data about the region have been made available and the region of Helsinki is committed to open and transparent decision
and policy making. This supports also research in the major universities: University of Helsinki and Aalto University, the local organizers of the conference.
We anticipate that the conference days will forward our thinking on how to make cities more sustainable, functional and pleasant for people, and how to study them scientifically in a meaningful and transparent manner.
The article analyzes the transformation of the regional political regime in Moscow Oblast from the decentralized type to the centralized one. Centralized subnational authoritarianism is understood as the implementation of the federal center policy to incorporate regional and local elites into the system of national electoral authoritarianism. The authors examine the institutional context of transformations: the reform of urban development authorities, understood as the process of redistributing rental flows, and the limitation of political autonomy by transforming the procedure for occupying elected offices. The transformation of formal institutions made the political process more predictable, though it led to a number of unobvious results, which included the increase in the importance of informal procedures in the political process. In turn, it led to restriction of the access to political participation. The results of the elections (Moscow Regional and State Duma campaigns of 2011 and 2016, and the governor election of 2018) show that the mayors being ‘old-timers’ managed to provide better electoral results for the ruling party than the newly appointed loyal mayors. The authors conclude that dismantling of old ‘political machines’ has led to the reduction of electoral support for the ruling party in the Moscow region on average. Thus, political centralization, which made the political process more predictable, led to the unforeseen consequences such as the decrease in the ability of municipal authorities to provide electoral support for the ruling party.