Extended corporately urbanized landscapes: company towns and other spatial fixes

Authors: Elena Trubina*, Ural Federal University
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Russia
Keywords: uneven development, political economy, corporately urbanized landscapes
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Empire Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The current relationships between the corporations and host territories are affected by the positive balance of trade for raw material producers. This includes “a redirection of capital flow away from creating a livable environment for the mass of the citizens of any place to creating investment opportunities…” (Harvey 2018). As a results, the ‘company towns’ face an escalating crisis in the adequate provision of basic services such as clean air, health care and mass transit systems. Many of them have tended to be viewed within a narrow analytical frame as the characteristic of the former planned economies (Friebel and Guriev 2000; Commander 2018). In this presentation, ‘path-dependent’ perspectives on the company towns are combined with an analysis which frames the experience of such towns within a wider geographical arena of economic instability, production networks, spatial fixes, and corporate state capture. A political economic perspective is developed in order to reveal how the corporations combine spatial dispersions with sustaining extractive communities (Scott 2015). I draw upon recent work in economic and political geography to analyze the ways in which the ’old’ industrial areas often remain the sites of extraction while the profits materialize elsewhere, i.e. in the iconic buildings and sport teams of the large cities. This creates specific extended corporately urbanized landscapes.

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