The relevance of the analyzed issue is due to the existing need for more attention to the problems of large cities, which are the social and economic centers that perform important functions and realize the interests of the population, business and local government. The purpose of this article is to disclose the sources of the urban growth and development, the integrated assessment of the size and spatial distribution of the economic activity, regional planning and the government activity. The leading approaches to the study of this issue are systemic and reproduction, which, along with the use of econometric modeling and statistical analysis, allowed revealing significant shortcomings of the institutional urban management mechanism and proposing a number of measures to correct these shortcomings. The article illustrates the theoretical basis of modeling of large cities as spatial economic systems, determines their sources of growth, gives the characteristic features of the urban development in modern conditions, and proposes a conceptual model of a modern city. The contents of the article may be useful for the development of social and economic development strategies both the urban district, and the region as a whole, since large cities act as a locomotive, and they move the regional economy in the direction of the social and economic well-being.
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