Unlike other countries at a similar income level, Russia’s urbanization rate plateaued more than two decades ago (Fig. 10.1). However, this does not imply a lack of dynamic. On the contrary, Russian cities have been undergoing critical economic, social, and demographic changes, which have produced new urban mobility needs and challenges. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the country has gone through a dramatic economic and political transition. Today, Russia’s socioeconomic model is characterized by a mixture of the new market economy and the institutional legacy of the Soviet era, including a large footprint of the state and a generous social contract. These idiosyncrasies of Russia’s model are also mirrored in the ways in which urban land is developed, infrastructure is built, and public services are provided.
This chapter benefited immensely from the insight, data and information provided by the Russian Federal Ministry of Transport, the Scientific and Research Institute of Motor Transport (NIIAT), the Directorate of the Moscow Transport Hub, and representatives from Russian municipalities: Aktyubinsk, Astrakhan, Balashikha, Cheboksary, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Lipetsk, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Stavropol, Stavropol, Tambov, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ulan-Ude, Ussuriysk, Velikiy Novgorod, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Volzhskiy, Yekaterinburg, and Znamensk. The author is grateful for valuable background material and support from current and formal World Bank colleagues, including Kenneth Gwilliam, Maria Shmis, Aleksandra Durova, and Evgenia Epaneshnikova. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author and should not be attributed in any manner to any organizations or individuals listed above. Any mistakes found in the report are the sole responsibility of the author.
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