Concept Of "Sustainable Development" And Social Space Of City


The concept of "sustainable development" as the main basis for management of the city development is focused on the need of application of a method of the city social design of social space for administrative practice. According to the system approach, the city as a difficult social system gains the property of systemacity on condition of development of its own backbone complexity and commitment, that is, development of elements of the internal environment and not just a result of external influence of the megasystem. Development of the city should be subordinated to its ability to create by means of control facilities the conditions, which are making active internal factors and elements of the system as the general and specific character. Development of the city is put into dependence on development of its social space. The author proceeds from requirements of the accounting of complexity of the social system which the city is. And one needs to accept existence of interference of material and non-material elements of space according to P. Bourdieu's tradition and the actors-network theory of Latur B.

Keywords: Concept of "sustainable development"management of the city developmentsocial designsocial space of the cityterritorial identity of citizenssocial activity of citizens


The concept of "sustainable development" is the cornerstone of programs and strategies of development for many cities of the world where the emphasis is placed on ecology and quality of life. In this work, the focus is shifted to the concept "development". The concept of "sustainable development" is accepted at the same time as the methodological basis and a target reference point, function of management of social processes. Stability is defined as an indicator and the substantial characteristic of a continuity of development, a local goal and the instrument of achievement of a new qualitative condition of society. Such provision of the social system at which development is defined as the main social value admits steady.

Creation of the conditions and norms forming requirements is moral-personal participation of citizens in the process of management of society development, is the reasonable main basis of viability and achievement of sustainable development.

The appeal to the cities is caused by their special role in development of society.

In this work, an attempt to prove the idea of need and an opportunity within the standard regulated approach of municipal management to use methodology of social design of the city social space is made.

Problem Statement

As the main base for determination of an entity of the concept "social space", the following were accepted: the theory of social action, the theory of structuration of E. Giddens (2003), critical realism of R. Bkhaskar (1991), and also the actor-network theory and the ideas reflected in the works of B. Latur (2007), J. Lo (2006), J. Uri (2012), etc. Synthesis of these approaches is determined by the requirement of accounting the complexity of the social system, which is the city, by the necessity of accepting the interference of material and non-material elements of the space, according to the tradition of P. Bourdieu (1993).

Use of the system approach and the theory of E. Giddens (2003) allows stating that the social space is a concentration/dispersion of the social elements of the social system, which, by their nature, are in a condition of action, the relations and interactions which exists in the form of locality, for example, of the city.

Research Questions

Practice of social design of management of city development implies the necessity of development of the indices and indicators characterizing a condition of social space of the city and management of its development.

For this purpose, one must have data on the condition of: identity, namely, territorial identity as an indicator of development of a territorial community and interaction of the citizen with the city; social activity as an effective resultant on formation of social space of the city, its development; norms and regulators of the relations within a concrete city community, namely, trust and solidarity as social norms.

Each of the above listed indicators has a set of indicators, which, as a result, allows one to receive the integrated characteristic of a condition of social space and, therefore, to have the reasons for acceptance of specific administrative actions. Design development of space implies inclusion of the principle of a bulb into action within the system approach and sustainable development. In this case, spheres and layers of social development develop not in parallel and moreover, not by the priority principle, but ingrowing and growing through the action of processes of diffusion of an overflowing of one plane into another, reaching the effect of emergency and synergy.

Purpose of the Study

The research objective is definition of spatial identification of young people who consider Tyumen as the family city.

The tasks are: to determine personally defined borders of the city; development of the territory; appropriateness (a quantity, a variety and a character of the used places).

Research Methods

By means of a method of mental maps, the territorial identity was analyzed. The research is two-stage. At the first stage, in 2015, this method has been applied in respect of student youth of the city of Tyumen. At the second stage, in 2016, representatives of an active part of citizens, who self-identified themselves as representatives of a creative class, acted as respondents.

In the research, the method of mental maps was described in the work of N.V. Veselkova (2010), and the subject of an "iconic" image of the city was used in the works of A.K. Mokrousova (2012).

171 students of three higher education institutions of the city of Tyumen participated in a research. They are the students of the first and last years of study (TSOGU, TyumGU, TYUMGASU, majoring in human resource management, chemistry, publishing, journalism, quality management, architecture). But only 72 maps were investigated. The respondents were offered “to draw the hometown".


The analysis of the received results confirms that the downtown remains the favourite place for citizens. Significant objects include downtown objects (Tsvetnoy Boulevard, the Lenin Square, the Embankment, the Bridge of lovers, etc.), which can be referred to traditional centrist public spaces of the city where the person can just walk, meet friends in an environment of objects of small architecture with pleasant sights and landscapes. Territorially borders of the downtown coincide with similar borders which have been outlined during the sociological research in 1995 and in 2014. The thesis that polycentrism in Tyumen is not developed is also confirmed. There is no uniform placement of public spaces all over the territory. Lack of these public spaces in residential districts of the city is replaced by including shopping malls in the number of significant and favourite spaces (31 mentions). It is impossible to call shopping malls, being the centers of leisure and spending free time of youth, as full-fledged public spaces of the city. One third of respondents treated culture objects, monuments, museums, cult constructions (24 mentions) as significant; they are mainly placed in the downtown.

Pointing to one’s own house, especially to the house of the grandmother, relatives as the dearest and loved one, practically nobody noted the yard or public garden near the house. Such situation is in many respects caused by the result of the policy of pointed building. Density of structures is characteristic of the city; the domestic territory is filled with personal vehicles, both for old districts of the city and new buildings. Those few residential districts where the builder has created places for the yard in true understanding of this word, were noted by respondents. It is necessary to admit the fact that a half of respondents noted their school and higher education institution as significant. But at the same time, 11 respondents have pointed to these objects, as well as hospitals, as the most unpopular ones (6). 28 people noted positively natural objects: parks, groves, squares, ponds.

In the opinion of two thirds of the respondents, the degree of development of the territory of the city is limited to the residence, the downtown (in the center of the city, higher education institutions are placed). New residential districts, as well as those that exist more than 25 years (if the respondent does not live there), do not fall within the scope of interests of citizens and are poorly developed. The development of the territory is narrowed, characterized by small quantity, variety of the used places. At that, the city is modern, dynamically developing and balanced by the socially demographical structure, with rich history and objects of cultural and historical heritage.

On November 12, 2016, among participants of the KIT-session, held within the Tyumen project "My Territory", the same method was used. 52 participants identified themselves as representatives of a creative class (39 women and 13 men aged from 16 to 38). The results of two researches have coincided.

Indicators of personally defined borders of the city and development of the territory (the share of familiar places relatively unfamiliar ones), value and recognizability of objects (quantity of mentions of town-planning, economic, cultural, natural objects) are interconnected and interdependent. It is possible to agree with the opinion of researchers that if the value of an object and the related expectations is determined, definition of an opportunity and ability of the population to influence the processes connected with these general valuable objects has to be the following step (Vavilina, Skalaban, 2014).

The narrowness of space development, its perception, restriction of borders of space with the residence and traditional public recreation spots can be overcome if in practice of management, the urban policy uses the method of social design of space more actively. This approach corresponds to the necessity of accounting and using one more indicator of the development level of social space, an indicator of social activity of citizens.

At the municipal level, despite the existence of institutionalized forms of involvement of the population in local government. Municipal bodies inactively use resources of citizens for solution of strategic tasks of management and development of territories. The system of interaction of the administrative team of municipality and the population is not adjusted. The analysis of public practices shows that it leads to spontaneous amateur activity of citizens for the purpose of solution of local problems and improvement of living conditions on a specific territory. Social activity of the population is implemented in the solution of economic and household, cultural, educational, social problems; in questions of enterprise initiatives in municipalities. The research results of the content, an orientation and forms of activity of public practices of residents of Tyumen brought to such conclusion. As a method of the research, the content analysis of materials of the press of four Tyumen newspapers "Tyumenskiye Izvestiya", "Tyumenskaya Pravda", "Tyumenskaya oblast segodnya", "Tyumensky kuryer" for three years from 2013 to 2015 has been chosen. A unit of measure is a plot about activist practice of the population of the city of Tyumen.

2682 articles were analysed, from them only 42 articles contained information on public practices of citizens (it is necessary to note that this is not about the public practices carried out by public associations, having a legislatively registered organizational structure). It is safe to say that citizens gradually realize a role of their participation in the solution of both city problems in general and problems which emerge within the territory of their residential district, the street. If one is to range a circle of issues which are resolved by public practices of residents, then the first place by importance belongs to improvement of the territory, not necessarily adjoining their house. There is a desire to decorate the city, to present joy of beauty to other people. Then, charity, care about animals, ecology, etc. follow.

Forms of realization of public practices are similar in the fact that an active part of the population formulates a problem, organizes people who did not know each other before, holds an event. It is possible to assume that a uniting, motivating basis for action is values and norms. Validity of this thesis is confirmed by lack of remuneration, frequently by the absence of public recognition, temporal nature of people association.


Specifics of the current state and tendencies of development is recognition of activity of the population in the form of a resource of forward, sustainable development, the necessity of its transformation from a destructive into creative tool. And at the same time, this resource and the tool have to be used in practice of municipal management. The systemic, organizational ordered relations of interaction among the population, its active part and power structures allow one not only to synchronize and coordinate the development purposes, to define priorities and possible ways of solution, but, first of all, to pass from passive forms of management to constructivist ones. Therefore, one needs not only conditions for activity manifestation, but also conditions and mechanisms of transforming this activity into the context of adoption of concrete managerial decisions by means of technologies, tools, organizational processes inside the management system. Coming back to provisions of the legislation (FL-131) on the necessity of establishing conditions of developing municipalities, cities by the bodies of municipal management, it is possible to suggest the expansion of a range of these conditions, having introduced into the legislation the provisions on the urban environment and social space of the city, which have an inverse connection with concepts of social activity and the human capital.

Until recently, the concept "human capital" has been a subject of theorizing of social and humanitarian knowledge. Today it has become customary for management and has been the aim-focusing element of programs of social and economic development of the cities, regions, the countries.

The same phenomenon is observed concerning the concept "social space of the city". The academic researches of social space of the city acquire the status of the methodological bases for policy and programs of development of various territories now.

The example is the project of "revival of the cities by means of culture" in Great Britain, in particular, in Coventry. As J. Vickery writes, they have tried "to correlate the policy of city planning with "sociological" understanding of space. The city space was understood not just as the physical mechanism of economic production and social reproduction, but as a platform for formation of social identities, communities and development of lifestyles" (Vickery, 2009, p. 218).

These examples are given again to be become firmly convinced in the fact that it is necessary to convert results of these studies in the field of management, design of social space into practical recommendations about development of cities.


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19 February 2018

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Cite this article as:

Kostko, N. (2018). Concept Of "Sustainable Development" And Social Space Of City. In I. B. Ardashkin, N. V. Martyushev, S. V. Klyagin, E. V. Barkova, A. R. Massalimova, & V. N. Syrov (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 35. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 645-650). Future Academy.