Challenges and potential of monotowns: a systematic literature review

Taşkın Dirsehan, Nursultan Shurenov, Nataliya Tovma, Zhanna Kozhamkulova, Zauresh Akhmetova


Relevance. Monotowns, or single-industry settlements, are pivotal in the economic and social landscapes of former Soviet countries. This systematic literature review explores monotowns, examining their evolution, challenges and implications of these unique urban formations from the 18th century to the present day. The study’s relevance lies in its comprehensive analysis of these towns, which have been significant yet underexplored in academic discourse.
Research objective. The objective of this review is to critically examine the multifaceted nature of monotowns, focusing on their socio-economic dynamics, challenges, and potential transformation. The review aims to elucidate the complex interplay of economic, social, and political factors that shape these towns and to identify unexplored areas in this field of study.
Data and Methods. To achieve these objectives, the study employs a systematic review protocol comprising four phases: search query, document type, publication stage, and language. This approach involves analyzing a wide range of sources from international and regional databases, ensuring a holistic view of monotowns that captures both historical and contemporary perspectives.
Results. Monotowns exhibit considerable resilience amidst economic fluctuations and confront distinct socio-economic challenges, including issues specific to mining monotowns and issues related to public health. The findings underscore the importance of adaptive strategies, corporate social responsibility, and proactive government intervention in addressing these challenges.
Conclusion. This review provides a comprehensive exploration of monotowns, contributing valuable insights for future research, particularly in understanding their socio-economic dynamics and the challenges they face. The study is significant for scholars in economic development of the territories and business studies, offering a foundation for further exploration of these unique urban formations.


monotowns, single-industry towns, company towns, single industry, systematic literature review, bibliometric analysis

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