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Urban Comfort Ranking Puts Krasnodar in the Lead

The city near the Black Sea is benefitting from the large amount of federal funding being sent to the region ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which is located in Krasnodar region. Martin Hawslich

Krasnodar defended its title as Russia's most comfortable city in 2012, according to a recent rating compiled by the Urbanika Institute and the Russian Union of Architects, Vedomosti reported.

St. Petersburg placed 19th on the list while Moscow fell from seventh position to 48th.

The researchers ranked the 100 largest cities in the country based on the quality of the local urban environment and the cost of living. In addition to Krasnodar, which topped the rating two years in a row, the leading five cities included Surgut, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Murmansk.

Four cities that could have been rated highly were intentionally excluded from the ranking. They include Moscow region's Balashikha, Khimki, Podolsk and Korolyov, which the researchers recognized as a part of the capital even though they have separate administrative centers.

Russia's nickel mining center, Norilsk, was also cut from the ranking due to its specific economic and social conditions.

Krasnodar's consistent performance is explained by the large amount of federal funding that is sent to the area. Up to 50 percent of the federal budget earmarked for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi is going to Krasnodar region.

Krasnodar has one of the largest construction rates and is a leader in individual home ownership, according to the Russian Union of Engineers.

The union compiled its own rating in 2012 where cities were judged based on their population dynamics, transportation infrastructure, accommodation, economy and the residents' financial wellbeing. The cities that came out on top included Voronezh, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, as well as Moscow and St. Petersburg. Krasnodar was deemed as having great potential for future growth.

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