Prospective Clustering Models of Small-Town Systems into Small Agglomerations

Pavel Makagonov, Ludmila Tokun, Celia Bertha Reyes Espinoza, Liliana Chanona Hernandez


In the context of self-isolation and restrictions of vehicles mobility, a widespread trend on economic digitalization primarily manifested itself in a transition to remote working and learning regimes. Crisis conditions cause a threat to the development of agglomerations of small towns which appeared thanks to the diurnal commuting migration of the workforce to the economic centers of such agglomerations. In this respect, the article provides an overview of systemic factors of inclusion of small towns’ human resources aimed at mitigating the risk of a mass exodus of young people from such towns and their consequential depopulation in countries and regions subject to this risk. Taking into account a ubiquitous increase in the level of computer literacy among young people, it is feasible to actively develop online learning in many demanded professions and include them in production processes in a remote regime. To do this, production processes should be organized on the principle of technology clusters distributed in small agglomerations of towns tied to a large production center while commuting migration of workforce should be replaced with freight services provided to the local branches of a large production enterprise. This approach is supposed to develop a new type of agglomerations where people can live and work in the same small towns while the interconnection between these towns is carried out through the migration of goods tied to one basic enterprise in the middle of such an agglomeration. The size of such an agglomeration can exceed the former types of urban entities because freight vehicles are not as limited by strict time frameworks as workforce transportation to the workplaces.


Agglomeration of small towns, diurnal commuting migration, remote working regime, depopulation threat

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