National urban policy in Russia and the European experienceAbstract
This article analyses the features, shortcomings, prospects, and limitations of Russia’s national urban policy (NUP) and similar initiatives abroad to formulate proposals for further development of the Russian NUP. To this end, the study examines international (particularly German) documents and publications on NUP and the Russian regulatory framework. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the resilience of cities to crises and the development of urban green spaces. Germany’s current NUP, adopted in 2007, stands out for its complexity and congruence with regional policy. The principal NUP document in Russia is the Spatial Development Strategy. However, it overlooks some issues essential for the development of the city system: the federal authorities support only selected types of towns, such as single-industry municipalities, and the NUP is not comprehensive as it pays little attention to the economic dimension. A feeble information framework and largely powerless municipal authorities impede further development of the NUP. A transition to a comprehensive and well-designed NUP in Russia is proposed, which includes counteracting the concentration of population and economic activity in Moscow and establishing Saint Petersburg as a centre of economic growth. There is also an urgent need to understand the economic development prospects of smaller towns.