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Spatial structure and development of settlements in the Saint Petersburg agglomeration



This article explores the spatial structure and development of settlements comprising the Saint Petersburg agglomeration. Previous studies and database sources, which were never used before (the Federal Tax Service [FTS] database and SPARK-Interfax), are analysed to reveal factors in the economic development of metropolitan areas as well as to understand how settlements develop in Russia’s second-largest city agglomeration. The borders and composition of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration are brought up to date. Examining the population size of the settlements helps locate the ‘growth belt’ of the agglomeration. Lists of major enterprises of the city and the region make it possible to identify patterns in the economic development of the study area. The SPARK-Interfax database aids in clarifying relationships between spatial elements of the agglomeration (its core and satellites) in the distribution of revenues of economic agents. Data on the location of the largest retail stores — shopping malls and hypermarkets — are used to identify the main centres of commerce in the Saint Petersburg agglomeration. A map chart has been drawn using 2GIS and Yandex Maps geoinformation services. An important step in agglomeration analysis is the identification of residential development hotspots. FTS data on property tax base are the main source of relevant information. FTS reports contain data on the number of residential buildings and units covered by the database. Further, FTS statistics is employed to trace income and job distribution across the study area. The current functions of settlement in the Saint Petersburg agglomeration have been determined. According to the findings, the spatial structure of the agglomeration has three groups of ‘backbone centres’. The agglomeration includes a core, a population growth area (‘growth belt’), commuting sources and recipients, and ‘backbone centres’.


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