Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
Tel.: +7 (499) 128-85-19
Fax: +7 (495) 719-07-40
Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article sheds light on the fledgling scholarly approach to involving the community in urban territorial planning projects in the first decade of the 20th century. For instance, it reviews the work of Patrick Geddes, a Scottish biologist, sociologist, and town planner. The study shows the dramatic way in which the scope of sociological research in the West expanded over the years, from demographic statistics and crime studies to economic research, and later on, to social and cultural, in particular sociological, research. We also trace the way the vital needs of urban communities were taken into account in Russia, starting from the 1920s. We give special emphasis to the fundamental work of the movement founded by Leonid Borisovich Kogan and his school. It was Kogan who initiated and oversaw the research of urban communities, which was carried out between the 1970s and the 1990s in the Moscow metropolitan area, the capitals of the three former Soviet republics (Tallinn, Tbilisi, and Yerevan), and in various major, large, and small research centers in Russia. Our findings show that as of today, population surveys in Russia and in Moscow are carried out by 115 research companies, including 44 companies headquartered in Moscow. These are mostly marketing surveys, i.e. mass, expert, telephone, and random sampling surveys. There are some social and urban planning studies and surveys among the people living in Moscow’s Old Town, which may be described as semisocial and urban planning research. These works are few and far between. There is one exception, however: the multidisciplinary research titled “Archeology of the Periphery”, which was carried out in 2013, in the area between the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road, by the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture, and Design, as part of the Third International Urban Forum. We arrive at the conclusion that social and urban planning studies and urban-themed population surveys are largely ignored by the policy-makers in Russia, Moscow included. The last major comprehensive social and urban planning survey in Moscow was conducted over twenty years ago. This article highlights that today, the political and economic developments in Russia are overshadowing the processes in urban environments; notably, these processes are characterized by universal features that cross the boundaries of specific regions and the local political structure. The main conclusion that we make is that the perception of urbanization’s most profound underlying patterns through the prism of city policy should serve as a basis for decision-making, both in economic, social, and regional policy.
Socio-town planning surveys, researches of the urban population life activities processes, urban policy; town-planning policy, areal planning.