The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №3(25)

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

DOI
10.5922/2079-8555-2015-3-4
Pages
47-57

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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