Regional Research of Russia

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 80–89 | Cite as

Integrated forms of urban settlement pattern in Russia, Europe, and worldwide

  • O. B. GlezerEmail author
  • V. A. Kolosov
  • I. Brade
  • L. Coudroy de Lille
  • N. A. Sluka
Urban Geography


This paper explores a set of concepts denoting a hierarchy of integrated systems of urban settlement patterns ranging from the most common urban agglomeration to the still quite uncommon global city area, including concepts such as conurbation, metropolis, megapolis, megapolis, world city, and global city. The interpretations of these terms in different countries are discussed. Some terms are widely used, while others are used only in some countries, for example, the settlement system or the urban framework in Russia. Some terms are only used by researchers, while others have been turned into categories which are also applied by national statistical and regional planning agencies. Specifically, urban agglomerations are not yet officially identified in Russia, although there is discussion about the possibility of merging some closely located cities into uniform administrative entities, which are called agglomerations. In contrast, in France, a sophisticated and extensive system of terms defining urban agglomerations of different levels has been put in place. This paper is part of a thematic set of five articles published in the “Urban Geography” category of the current journal issue. These papers review key terms and concepts used in geographic urban studies in Russia, France, and other European countries (in addition to the current paper, see also the following articles: “Cities, Rural Areas and Urbanization: Russia and the World”, “City and Countryside under World-Wide Urbanization”, “Types of Cities in Russia and Across the Globe”, “Cities and Social Processes: Rethinking Notions and Concepts”.


terms in urban studies integrated forms of settlement patterns urban agglomeration urban and metropolitan area conurbation inter-municipal cooperation settlement system world and global cities metropolis global city-region 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. B. Glezer
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. A. Kolosov
    • 1
  • I. Brade
    • 2
  • L. Coudroy de Lille
    • 3
  • N. A. Sluka
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Leibniz-Institut für LänderkundeLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.UMR CNRS Environnement Ville SocieteUniversité de LyonLyonFrance
  4. 4.Geography FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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