Novosibirsk is the largest municipal body in the
Russian Federation, the biggest city in Siberia and the
administrative center of the Novosibirsk Region. It is home to
Representative Office of the President of the Russian Federation in
the Siberian Federal District. As of January 1, 2004, its population
totaled 1,413,000 people. Counting the residents of the satellite
towns, the population within the Novosibirsk agglomeration exceeds 2
million people. Area of Novosibirsk is 504,61 square kilometers.
Distance to Moscow (by railway) — 3,191 km. Time zone: GMT +06:00
(difference with Moscow time +3 hrs). Area code: within Russia —
383, internationally — 07-383.
Novosibirsk is located at the
junction of forest-steppe and forest natural zones on the Priobsky
plateau, which borders on the Ob River Valley. Its exact
geographical position is: 82059'E and 55011'N. The general terrain
layout is elevated and ridged, with the elevation of over 200m above
sea level. The city's left-bank part is flat, while the right-bank
part is dotted with numerous gullies, crests and ravines, since the
terrain here starts to rise toward the mountainous relief of the
Salair Ridge. Top soil here is characteristic of the forest-steppe
zone, i.e. from black earth to sand pod found under pine forests.
Natural factors favor the city development. The city borders on
Zaeltsovsky and Kudryashovsky pine forests, the Ob water reservoir;
there are small rivers and numerous lakes that all together offer
excellent opportunities for recreation.
By its combined indices of the scientific and
industrial, educational and cultural capacities Novosibirsk firmly
holds the leading position in Siberia, and trails only Moscow and
St. Petersburg nationwide. Novosibirsk spreads its influence over
the whole of Siberia — a vast territory with the area of 8 million
square kilometers and population of 26 million people.
Novosibirsk sprang to existence swiftly and boldly. Having
started as a settlement in 1893, it acquired an official town status
in 1904, and on September 2, 1962, it became the youngest city
worldwide to have 1 million residents. Novosibirsk owes its
establishment and rapid development to the busy railway that crosses
the Ob, the largest river on the continent, at this exact place.
That gave a boost to turning Novosibirsk into the largest
Eurasian transport hub. The city is a cross-over point of the
West-Siberian railway, federal highways Chelyabinsk-Irkutsk (Baykal)
and Novosibirsk-Tashanta (Chuysky Trakt); international, federal and
regional airways and the navigable river Ob. Within the city limits
there are 26 railway stations and stops (including the largest
Eurasian shunting depot, Inskaya, and a large container terminal,
Kleschikha); a river port, a marina and 8 river stations along the
Ob; a bus terminal and a city airport. Tolmachevo International
Airport is located in the vicinity of the city.
All these conditions have given Novosibirsk a status of
the central connecting link for the whole economic territory of
Siberia, a link to the major economic and demographic giants of
Eurasia — Europe and countries of Asia-Pacific Region. Today the
city presents a geographical point situated right in the middle
between the coal-rich Kuzbass in the south, and oil-producing
districts in the north; between the industrial centers in the west
and east. It sits on the intersection of major transport west-east
and south routes, which secure the transportation and economic
connections of the Russian regions.
Industry is another
major factor in the social and economic development of Novosibirsk.
The factories and plants evacuated to Novosibirsk from the European
part of Russia during the World War II, have made Novosibirsk into
one of the largest centers of industrial production in the nation.
At present, the Novosibirsk industrial capacities are based on 195
large and medium enterprises, while the number of small businesses
is steadily growing. Over the last 5 years the industrial production
growth in the city exceeded 131%.
The industry of
Novosibirsk is represented by most branches of modern production.
The major branches are: machine-building and metal-working, power
industry, food industry, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy,
production of construction materials, light industry, medical and
chemical industries, woodworking and printing industries.
Since 1957, when the Siberian Branch of the Russian
Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) was established in Novosibirsk, the
fundamental and applied sciences have constituted one of the major
factors for city growth. Academgorodok is the core of the science
center. It incorporates a variety of R&D, experimental-design
and production organizations of the Academy of Sciences, as well as
infrastructural and social facilities. Beside the SB RAS,
Novosibirsk is home to the Siberian Branch (SB) of the Russian
Academy of Agricultural Sciences, SB of the Russian Academy of
Medical Sciences and the Siberian Regional Branch of the Russian
Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences. In all, there are
131 scientific institutions in the city.
Today the Novosibirsk scientists, with the assistance of
the federal government, are preparing the launch of a special
economic zone and technical and innovation center based on
capacities of Academgorodok. The international IT community dubs the
Siberian science center as "silicone taiga" due to its
well-developed IT industry.
Novosibirsk is widely recognized
domestically and internationally for its educational institutions.
The city boasts 18 state institutes of higher education and 5
branches thereof, 9 private institutes of higher education and 8
branches thereof. The total number of students attending institutes
in Novosibirsk is a little less that 200,000 people.
At present Novosibirsk is one of Russia's distinguished
cultural centers. Numerous creative unions and associations, over
150 cultural institutions, more than 700 creative groups and 8
professional theaters currently operate in the city.
Novosibirsk today is a large modern city with all the traits
and features of a megalopolis, with a developed engineering
infrastructure and transport network, which includes subway, public
facilities and residential housing, with a wide network of social
facilities securing the city's normal functioning.
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