Development Analysis for Dagestan’s Makhachkala-Kaspiysk Metropolitan Region

The Republic of Dagestan is the southernmost area in the Russian Federation, part of the Caspian Sea Region between the South Caucasus and Central Asia. It stands out for its diversity — 121 ethnic groups coexisting without a dominant majority — and particularly high rate of population growth.

Timeframe: 2013–14

 

Location: Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation

 

Services:

– Cultural heritage analysis;

– Architecture and landscape analysis;

– Development framework analysis

 

Client: Diaspora – Strength of Dagestan

 

Objective: Establish a knowledge base to guide future development in the Makhachkala-Kaspiysk metropolitan region

Dagestan: Challenges of a Unique Region

Novayaconducted an extensive study of the Makhachkala-Kaspiysk metropolitan region as part of a consulting project. In addition to the cities of Makhachkala and Kaspiysk, the team researched five surrounding regions, drawing upon economic, political, social, historical, and architectural context to understand their development trajectories.

 

In-depth spatial analysis centred on the territory within two hours of Makhachkala and Kaspiysk — more than 20 settlements in urban as well as rural areas. Our methods included multivariate analysis of urban environments (building density and transport infrastructure) and socioeconomic development (budgetary resources and social infrastructure).

 

We found that local authorities face urgent challenges associated with a lack of capital assets. Widespread unemployment has given rise to an informal sector that accounts for 45­–70% of the regional economy. This has reduced private investment and increased dependence on federal subsidies, leaving much-needed transport infrastructure out of reach. Such problems must be addressed comprehensively to manage accelerating urbanisation. This study created a basis for future scenario planning in the Makhachkala-Kaspiysk metropolitan region.