Expats and the city: the spatialities of the highansnational living in the city of Moscow

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In the transnational discourse, an assemblage of broad-ranging immigrant groups and their transnational practices are explored throughout multiplicity of issues. Emerging mobilities are generated by a range of factors, including among others employment and education, and involved in notable changes in urban environments. In particular, they find reflections in the new perspectives of transnational living and residential practices. Along with international workforce, new highly mobile lifestyles, cultural habits, and residential practices are being imported. Many scholars now examine the challenges that transnational living lay on the globalizing cities and their built environments, along with processes of segregation and advancement of human capital. This paper presents the findings of the qualitative study of the high-skilled transnational migrants living in the increasingly globalizing city of Moscow. It focuses on the migrants from the Western world who moved to Moscow to live for the extended time. The paper aims to investigate the spatialities of their everyday living and the relations between the settlement patterns and localizations of social practices with the urban development process of the city. A case of Moscow has shown an array of the transnational lifestyles localizations, bringing two main findings: the general pattern of scattered settlement, and the diversification of sociocultural practices highly dependent on communication strategies and lifestyle types. The scattered settlement of the high-skilled transnational migrants in Moscow counterparts and adds on the explored trends of clusterization of the transnational elites in some other globalizing cities. The paper is divided into four main sections. Firstly, following a review of the literature, the context of globalization and migration processes in Moscow outlined in order to provide the reader with the background information about the skilled international immigration in this city. Secondly, the general structure of the expats living in the Moscow is outlines, focusing later on the residential strategies of the expats that ultimately result in the scattered settlement structure. In the process, key neighborhoods of choice for transnational living are highlighted, and the question of whether these neighborhoods correspond to the localities of inner urban globalization process of the city and to the settlement patterns of other migration flows. Thirdly, the spatialities of the use of services by the expat communities are uncovered, with reference made to the particular sociocultural backgrounds and lifestyles. Finally, the paper suggests a discussion of the relations between the scattered settlements of expats as a part of urban remodeling progress. It seeks to contribute to a number of fundamental literatures: the overreaching globalization in the world cities (Sassen, 1991), the increasing importance of global circulation of skills, and the crucial significance of transnational urbanism in explaining urban complexity (Smith, 2001).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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