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