Development Resources Of The Krasnodar Urban Agglomeration


The presented research aims to determine the key problems of developing Krasnodar urban agglomeration and the political and administrative resources necessary to resolve them. The main blocks of problems include: defining the subjects of development and the structure of their interests, delimitation of the agglomeration; choosing a model for managing agglomeration; coordination of development goals. The structure of regulating contradictions and tools for this activity have been developed. The contradictions and risks influencing the development of agglomeration is revealed. Possible directions conclude that it is necessary to use a public nature's political and administrative resources to overcome the problems that arise at the present stage of the Krasnodar urban agglomeration development. This would make it possible to move from a spontaneous development to an orderly one and minimize the risks of destructive conflicts. Methodologically, the research is based on the neo-institutional approach's postulates and the theory of conflict in its political and administrative aspects. The study's empirical part was based on primary data from open sources and developed by authors, an expert survey toolkit in semi-formalized interviews.

Keywords: ContradictionsKrasnodar urban agglomerationpolitical and administrative resourcespublic sphererisks


The relevance of this work lies in the field of public-political management of agglomerations in the Russian Federation, as well as plans for the creation and development of new formations of this type. In the managerial and partly in the scientific traditions existing in Russia the development of agglomerations is considered in the context of the economic advantages and effects achieved in their development (Domenko & Efremova, 2019; Voroshilov, 2019). The issues of political and managerial organization and management of agglomeration processes are considered rather limited (Kolomak, 2013; Shvetsov, 2018; Volchkova & Minaev, 2013) their social and political components remain unstudied. "Economic determinism" of this kind is reflected in official doctrines. Some researchers consider this to be a significant drawback leading only to a partial and distorted perception of the experience of Western countries (Kinossian, 2016). Such gaps in scientific knowledge regarding agglomeration development and metropolitan management harm these processes, especially at the transition stage from spontaneous to orderly development.

There are common problems in the development of Russian agglomerations, but most of them are characterized by contradictions and conflicts associated with "individual trajectories" of development. The Krasnodar urban agglomeration is the object of our research. It has a number of unique characteristics that directly affect its development (Pavlov, 2018). In the economic sense, this is a relatively underdeveloped infrastructure that provides for commuting from peripheral areas to the center and back, uncertainty about spatial boundaries. In the social sphere, this is the center of attraction for migrants from other regions of the country who then choose it for permanent residence. In the political and administrative senses this is the location of the agglomeration on the territory of two subjects of the federation; uncertainty regarding the model of its management.

Problem Statement

The problems arising in the development of the Krasnodar agglomeration are complex in nature. This manifests itself both in the daily functioning of the city and in crisis situations. Thus, the growth of the migration flow causes discontent among the citizens and is considered by the authorities as a problem. At the same time construction companies, which are one of the main lobbyists for making political and managerial decisions, view it as a resource and justification for further expansion of activities. The crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for coordinated management decisions on the imposed restrictions on citizens' freedom of movement by the administrative structures of various municipalities and subjects of the Russian Federation. As anti-crisis management practices in this area have shown, improvised agreements between them cannot fully compensate for the lack of institutions at the metropolitan level. At the same time neither professional practitioners nor analysts and researchers currently have any clear idea of the model and tools for their creation. Thus, we need to address both social and scientific problems.

We’d argue that they can be formulated as follows. First of all, it is necessary to determine the main parameters of the development of the Krasnodar agglomeration, such as its spatial boundaries, management model, development goals, etc. and highlight the associated social contradictions of varying degrees of relevance.

Secondly, having determined the structure of problems and contradictions, it is necessary to study the mechanisms and tools for their institutionalization and regulation. There is a need to introduce proactive technologies for managing emerging social contradictions (collaborative planning, network management, the formation of public opinion) based on the analysis and generalization of their development experience. The creation of such a system for Russian agglomerations is an innovative practice due to the peculiarities of developing the system of horizontal (between different segments of local communities) and vertical (between communities and authorities) communications.

There is also an additional scientific problem related to the development of research methodology and tools. Due to the complexity and multidimensional nature of research tasks, we need to synthesize a scientific approach, within which achievements in the field of economic, political-administrative and conflict studies, quantitative and qualitative methods could be combined.

Research Questions

The formulation of the research problem predetermines the formulation of the triple research question: determination of the parameters of optimal development of the Krasnodar agglomeration; identification of mechanisms and instruments for coordinating the interests of the main subjects of the development; the formation of research tools that allow for a comprehensive analysis of problems, risks and development resources and develop appropriate recommendations.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to identify the most significant problems and contradictions in the development of the Krasnodar agglomeration, the necessary political and administrative resources and methods of influence for their public administration.

Research Methods

Methodologically, the research is based on the neo-institutional approach's postulates and the theory of conflict in its political and administrative aspects. We took primary data from open sources (publications in the media; interviews of state and municipal officials; materials of round tables on the problem under study; conclusions made in scientific publications on the problem under study). We have developed an expert survey toolkit in the format of semi-formalized interviews based on the development problems identified during the analysis. The interview's topic guide includes several blocks of questions (the main subjects of the development of the agglomeration; the boundaries of the agglomeration; the model of managing the agglomeration; development problems and resources, development conflicts, development scenarios).


During the first stage of the research (analysis of empirical data), we obtained some results to identify the main blocks of problems. We need to get additional information to create detailed views and develop recommendations for resolving the most significant contradictions.

The study showed a high degree of uncertainty concerning the key actors in the development of the Krasnodar agglomeration, capable of initiating and promoting it in a project format with certain stages and terms of implementation. This would allow getting out of the state of the spontaneous flow of agglomeration processes. The design problem, associated among other things with the presence of various hypothetical variants of organizational schemes for actors' interaction, only partially presented in theory (Pavlov et al., 2018) and even more so in practice, is one of the most important. At the moment, only the administrations of the city of Krasnodar and Krasnodar Krai have identified themselves as such. Through their efforts, the project is initiated and gets into the regional information agenda from time to time. At the same time, since the official appeal of these government bodies to this topic, the composition of the subjects and the degree of their interest in the development of the agglomeration are still unclear. The views on this issue of the Republic of Adygea's authorities, the administrations of those municipalities that may enter its borders, business, local communities have not been articulated.

There is also no certainty regarding the delimitation of the boundaries of the agglomeration. Note that there are no unified approaches to identifying and delimiting agglomerations' boundaries (Raisikh, 2020). Nevertheless, the most advanced foreign experience demonstrates the transformation of the functional approach, in which the area of interaction between the “core” of the agglomeration and its zone of influence (“hinterland”) is determined by the intensity of pendulum labor migrations towards the network, taking into account the polycentricity of agglomerations (Antonov, 2020). We suppose that in the absence of general criteria for the delimitation of agglomerations in our country, for the purposes of strategic management and the development of inter-municipal cooperation, it is possible to use an individual approach based on the OECD methodology , but taking into account regional specifics. Note that the initial project of the Krasnodar agglomeration involved the inclusion of municipalities belonging to the Republic of Adygea. This would coincide with the natural tendencies of territorial integration. In later presentations of the agglomeration development, this issue became a "figure of silence". Meanwhile, it seems to be fundamentally important both from the point of view of the project's prospects and its risks. An analysis of the development of cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg shows that the Russian Federation's borders are not an obstacle to the natural growth of agglomeration. Krasnodar is in a similar situation, while a natural obstacle - the Kuban River - can act as a deterrent. Thus, political and infrastructural decisions regarding the integration of a number of territories of the Republic of Adygea into the agglomeration seem necessary and inevitable. Let us not forget about the risks in the field of interethnic relations that may increase in the process of integration.

Institutional (restrictions imposed by Russian legislation) and political (reaching an agreement between the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and its content) factors predetermine the choice of an agglomeration management model (Fang, 2019). In these conditions, we believe the most promising is a one-tier model based on an inter-municipal agreement, supplemented by an advisory body at the interregional level. At the same time, we wouldn't exclude the use of hybrid options, including federal structures' participation.

The question of the goals of the agglomeration development seems significant. Taking into account the fact that the interests of potential stakeholders of the project, as already mentioned, are not articulated in the public space, there is a high probability of their collision during its implementation. Based on the existing experience in the study of urban conflicts (Léa, 2017; Medvedev, 2017; McAuliffe & Rogers, 2019; Shatalova & Tykanova, 2018) it is easy to assume that they may arise on the basis of a clash of interests of urban and rural communities (as a rule, in the field of ecology and the development of social infrastructure), developers (land use), entrepreneurs (implementation of infrastructure projects, optimization of the separation system. labor, etc.). The development of an agglomeration can also lead to a change in the direction of migration flows and an aggravation of related problems, a change in economic systems, ambiguous effects of the transformation of administrative functions (Sleznov, 2019) and other consequences that are not fully obvious at the present moment. The mismatch and imbalance of management actions can also negatively affect consumer prices, the state of the environment, service level. It can lead to an imbalance in the labor market and even to a reduction in the gross regional product (Levina & Domnina, 2017).

We have systematized the identified problems and possible directions for their solution in the table 1 below:

Table 1 -
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We can draw some conclusions from the results of the first stage of our research. The development of the Krasnodar urban agglomeration is currently associated with the solution of several universal and unique problems. Contradictions and risks are formed on their basis, which in the future may devalue the agglomeration effects or complicate their achievement. The transition from spontaneous development to projected development is very relevant and is largely associated with the need to resolve contradictions. We have identified the most significant problems in separate blocks. We believe that it is necessary to use a public nature's political and administrative resources to reduce risks. This will allow balancing development at the initial stages of project implementation and reduce social tension that will inevitably arise as a side effect of management actions. The expert survey conducted in August-September 2020 as the next stage of the research will help develop the research group's ideas about the problems mentioned above and find possible ways to solve them.


This work was supported by The Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Administration of Krasnodar Krai № 19-411-230022 «Political and administrative resources of public management of the social and economic development of the Krasnodar agglomeration».


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Kolba, A., & Tereshina, M. (2021). Development Resources Of The Krasnodar Urban Agglomeration. In E. Popov, V. Barkhatov, V. D. Pham, & D. Pletnev (Eds.), Competitiveness and the Development of Socio-Economic Systems, vol 105. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1145-1151). European Publisher.