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How transport affects urbanization

26 November2019
How transport affects urbanization

The Presidential Academy hosted an international conference on Urbanization, Transport and Migration in the Second Half of the 19th – Second Half of the 20th Century, organized by the Center for Russian Studies and the Research Laboratory for Economic and Social History at RANEPA.

The conference participants examined the impact of the transport infrastructure development on urbanization and population mobility in Russia from the mid-19th to the second half of the 20th century. They especially focused on the specifics of urbanization processes in the context of railway construction, which peaked the 1870s-1880s.

Anthony Heywood, a professor at the University of Aberdeen, delivered a report “The Employment of Women in Late Imperial Russian Industry: Policy and Experiences on the Railways.” He examined the changes that occurred in the railway industry of the Russian Empire before 1914. His study involved analyzing railway workers’ data, including those hired for timework. The results of his research indicate more problems with the employment of women than in other industries, and show a number of differences from Western European states.

The second report, “Did Railroad Access Advantage Connected Towns in Late Imperial Russia? The Urban Economy and Society in the Age of Railroad Building,” was prepared by Carol Scott Leonard from the Center for Russian Studies at RANEPA, Zafar Nazarov, Professor at Purdue University in Fort Wayne, the US, Roman Konchakov, head of RANEPA Department of Economics History, and Maria Karpenko from the Center for Russian Studies. The team presented the results of a project devoted to the study of the impact of railway infrastructure on the development of cities in the Russian Empire.

The subsequent discussion was held in two groups. One group considered issues related to the development of transport and urbanization models in Russia in the context of wealth, inequality and transformation of the daily lives of migrants and residents of cities and villages. The other panel focused on the railway policy, financing of railway construction and the transformation of urban infrastructure under the influence of railway development.

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