Geographia Polonica (1981) vol. 44

Main features, trends and problems of human settlement in the USSR

Georgii M. Lappo

Geographia Polonica (1981) vol. 44, pp. 89-96 | Full text

Problems of human settlement are a part of a more general problem, i.e. territorial organization of social life. These problems become more complicated and acute with the passage of time, therefore their importance increases as well as the need to solve them.The national economic base of settlement is being constantly developed and changed: large territorial-production complexes emerge, new resource areas develop, huge transport routes, ports and electric power stations are built, and plans to transform Nature are elaborated and implemented over vast territories. All this imparts un-precedented dynamics to human settlement.The tasks to improve settlement cannot be reduced merely to removing shortcomings and intensifying positive elements. It is also essential to master the process of urban and rural settlement reorganization and formation of towns and their systems, as well as to direct it along postulated channels.The first essential step in controlling the mechanism of settlement is to grasp its essence. A study of settlement problems must be aimed, first, at analysing appropriate processes and revealing trends within them and, secondly, at identifying causes behind them.

Georgii M. Lappo, Institute of Geography Academy of Sciences of the USSR