The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 №4

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Rural areas of russia’s north-west borderland: problems and development paths



This article focuses on the rural areas of Russia’s North-West borderlands, particularly, the municipal districts and towns that are closest to the national border. The study aims to identify problems in the development of these territories and provide solutions to them. The methodological framework employed is the neo-endogenous approach, which suggests the maximal multifunctionality-driven use of internal resources, bottom-up initiatives supported by the authorities, extensive use of innovations, the Internet, and scientific knowledge. The study takes into account and assesses the heterogeneity of rural areas by producing a typology of districts built on the structure of agricultural production, using the Hall-Tideman index. The study used several indicators to identify the role and place of border districts in their respective regions. Three types of districts were distinguished according to the structure of agricultural production: districts dominated by agricultural organisations, districts dominated by small farms, and mixed-type districts. Cross-district differences in output dynamics were described. The socially essential functions of rural areas and the economic entities performing those functions were identified. The analysis of the recreational resources of border districts helped to determine the directions in which the transformation of rural areas into consumer spaces was moving. The major development trajectories of rural areas were plotted using the non-endogenous approach and differentiated by the district types. The rural areas of the North-West borderlands were confirmed to have a unique and diverse resource potential that is sufficient to ensure their sustainable development based on the non-endogenous approach.