The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №3(25)

Social and Economic Space Compression in Border Areas: the Case of the Northwestern Federal District

Abstract

The so-called “compression” of social and economic space has been the subject of quite a few studies in the past decades. There are two principle types of compression: communicative, that is, associated with the development of transport and information systems, and physical, manifested in the rapid decrease of the number of new territories to explore. While physical and communicative compression are interrelated, they have different spatial expressions depending on geographical conditions, economic, environmental, historical, and political characteristics of the re-gion. The authors identify the patterns of communicative and physical space com-pression using comparative mapping, statistical and historical research methods, and a model showing the spatial differentiation of regional socioeconomic charac-teristics in the Northwestern Federal District. The study focuses on border areas, where the following key manifestations of compression have been identified: trans-port connectivity, level of agriculture development, and depopulation. All these indicators of space compression process are studied at the municipal level. The authors identify the key features of socioeconomic space compression for the border areas of the Russian Northwest.

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Saint Petersburg as a Global Coastal City: Positioning in the Baltic Region

Abstract

The Baltic region consists of coastal areas of nine countries — Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. The region’s hubs are the port cities located along the Baltic Sea coast. However, Peter Taylor and Saskia Sassen’s classification identifies higher status cities and ‘global cities’, which are to be considered in the global context. Seven coastal regions are distinguished within this region, whose organising centers are the global coastal cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, and Malmö. The concept of a “global city-region” (Sassen) can be used as a methodological framework for analyzing this connection. Within this hierarchy, the dominant alpha group global city is Stockholm. The authors argue that, as a global coastal city, St. Petersburg forms the St. Petersburg coastal region, which can be defined as a typical "global city region". The index method shows that the position of St. Petersburg in the system of global coastal cities of the Baltic region is relatively favorable in view of its transport, logistics, and demographic potential and the advantageous geo-economic situation. St. Petersburg has certain competitive advantages in the region brought about by its demographic potential, port freight capacity, and the favorable geo-economic position of the "sea gate" of Russia. However, the level of high-tech services and ‘new economy’ development is not sufficient for the port to become a match for the top three cities (Stockholm, Helsinki, and Copenhagen). This is increasingly important because transboundary global city networks demonstrate that global cities are functions of global networks. Saint Petersburg is just starting to integrate into these networks through the Pulkovo airline hub and seaports of Ust-Luga, Primorsk, and Saint Petersburg.

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Model Structure and Content of a Comprehensive Maritime Plan: the Case of Kaliningrad

Abstract

The need for maritime spatial planning is articulated in the Strategy for Marine Development of the Russian Federation until 2030. However, Russian legislation contains no provisions regulating this field. This article presents the results of a study aimed to devise a methodology for developing the model structure of a maritime plan for the Baltic Sea. The study methodology is based on current regulations on marine use and na-ture management as well as international maritime planning practices. Since marine planning is closely connected with spatial planning, the study pays special attention to their convergence in developing maritime plans. The authors stress the need for legislative efforts aimed at integrating marine planning in the current legal framework for the regional authorities of different territorial levels. The structure and contents of the maritime plan and the methodological framework for suggested measures are based on relevant regulations, publications, and maps. The main result of the study is the identification of functional offshore areas of federal, regional, and local significance. The research significance of this study is associated with the further development of strategic planning, namely, marine planning. Its practical significance is in devising the legal and methodological framework for marine spatial planning.

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Opportunities and Challenges of Large Investment Projects in the New Economy: the Port of Ust-Luga

Abstract

The aim of this study is to search for a mechanism for implementing large investment projects of crucial economic importance in the modern economic conditions characterized by the sanction policy of foreign states, limited public investment, and a mass exodus of foreign investors. An example of a large-scale investment project is the construction of a multipurpose multimodal complex — the commercial seaport of Ust-Luga. This is one of the most recent large projects in seaport infrastructure development. This article estimates the project’s significance for the development of the Baltic region and presents a competitive analysis of the seaport position in comparison to the largest European ports. The authors analyze the strengths of the seaport construction project, namely, the favorable natural environment and climate, advantageous geographical position, strong political will demonstrated by the federal and regional authorities. The article also considers the challenges the project faces — unfortunate geopolitical situation, growing competition from other seaports, and lack of investment. Based on the analysis of challenges, it is concluded that there are significant risks associated predominantly with lack of investment. In these conditions, a large investment project requires the enhancement of public-private partnership, which will ensure the timely implementation of such projects

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