Suburbs of Ulan-Ude: Practices of citizenship and the “right to the city”

Breslavsky A. S. Suburbs of Ulan-Ude: Practices of citizenship and the “right to the city” // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2024. V.9. №1. P. 75-95.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2024-9-1-75-95


The author shows how local residents of the closest suburbs of Ulan-Ude (which grew rapidly in the 2000s — 2010s due to detached houses construction, including dacha non-commercial partnerships (DNP) without basic engineering, housing and social infrastructure) defended their “right to the city” (comfortable environment in suburban residential areas, equal access to urban public goods, etc.). The struggle for this right implied social-political mobilization, awareness and acceptance of personal responsibility for the development of territories, including in the form of territorial public self-government (TPS) that widely developed in Buryatia in the 2010s. However, this struggle was not widespread, all-encompassing, constant and sustainable as local suburban communities remained disunited and united only to solve common problems. The case of Ulan-Ude and its suburbs shows the situational nature of urban citizenship and the continuing fragmentation of urban and suburban communities in their seemingly common strive for the adequate quality of the urban/suburban environment, equal access to public goods and urban resources. The article shows a variety of argumentations for the “right to the city’, which may directly contradict each other, since the ideals embodied in this right often are not perceived by ‘ordinary’ residents. The study is based on the author’s participant observations (from 2011), in-depth interviews with leaders and activists of TPS and DNP in the suburban settlements of Ulan–Ude (2021– 2024), a focus group (January 2024) and media publications.


Rural migration, right to the city, Russia, Ulan-Ude, suburbs, citizenship, territorial public self-government.

About the author

Breslavsky Anatoly S., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Center of Urban Studies, Tyumen State University. Lenina St., 23, Tyumen, 625003.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The article was submitted on 25.12.2023.


Read 74 times Last modified on Apr 21 2024

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