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Dana Alsader Russian 312 Elena Smith 4/2/2012 Urban Life in Russian and the U.S.

Urban life is characterized for being fast paced and having a large population density among other things. However, despite general interpretations and views of what urban life tends to be like, when comparing Oakland, Ca with Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Russian urban life regardless of its similarities also differs greatly from that of the U.S. Several factors like climate, demographics, economy, education and culture define a place and greatly impact its populations lifestyles. These factors are significant and help us better understand the differences and similarities between Oakland and Nizhny Novgorod. When it comes to climate Oakland is classified as having temperate and Mediterranean climate, which consists of dry and warm summers and mild and wet winters. According to the NOAA, during the summer the average temperature falls around 72F with a high of 107F during June (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). This type of weather is perfect for outdoor activities like picnics by the lake and walks on the many parks and flower gardens as Emily Brady recommends (Brady). According to the WRCC it has never snowed in Oakland (Western Regional Climate Center). On the other hand, during the winter Nizhny Novgorod is permanently covered with snow and the lowest temperature is around -42F according to its climate center (Pogoda). Nizhny Novgorods climate is considered humid continental and is characterized for having humid summers and cold winters (Pogoda). These large amounts of

snow fall have proven inconvenient for the residents Nizhny Novgorod and contrasting to the lifestyle of the population in Oakland. Demographics affect and shape the population in cities and countries; they are the key that determine better lifestyles and opportunities. Oakland supports a population of 390,724 citizens of which 382,586 live in a house (United states Census Bureau). Even though both Oakland and Nizhny Novgorod are considered urban cities, Nizhny Novgorod is composed of a population of 1,250,615 which is approximately more than three times the population of Oakland (Federal State Statistics Service). Nizhny Novgorod has evidently been ranked the fifth largest city in Russia. Economically, Oakland is a major coastal city, 200,000 jobs are related to marine cargo transport. According to Habal, Oakland is also home of major corporations like Matson, Kaiser Permanente and Clorox and Tech companies like ask.com and Pandora radio and the median annual family income is $58,868 (Habal). In recent years many high tech and green energy companies have found a home in Oakland. Alameda country and Wells Fargo are the top employers of the city ( City of Oakland ). Contrastingly Nizhny Novgorod is the Russian center of information technology or IT. Nizhny Novgorod is also the leading Russian city when it comes to the quantity of software R&D (Research and Development) providers. Intel had a big software R&D center with more than 500 engineers in the city (Nizhny Novgorod Regional Government). As it turns out engineering is the leading industry in Nizhny Novgorods economy. Even though both cities are urbanized, Nizhny Novgorod is more technologically oriented than Oakland.

This not only affects the economy but also education because vast amount of institutions are oriented towards scientific research and development as well as technology and engineering to cover the work force demand, there are as many as 20 research institutions in Nizhny Novgorod. A city as technologically oriented and economically as Nizhny Novgorod provides its youth with many opportunities despite its overwhelming population numbers. Oakland hasnt been as prosperous when it comes to education. Even though there are several institutions of secondary and higher education and Oaklands school district is one of the top employers in the city surveys demonstrated how poorly students have performed for years now. According to Stewart more than 50% of the students fell below basic while 20% made it to at least proficient in the English section of the test (Stewart). Oakland and Nizhny Novgorod might be very different when it comes to climate, demographics, economy and education. But when it comes to culture they share several similarities. Both cities are famous for their appreciation and involvement with the arts. The city of Oakland claims to have the largest concentration of artists and Brady recommends Mamas Royal Caf for its cuisine which reflects the citys ethnically diverse population but most importantly for its napkin art contest (Brady). Clearly art is an important and everyday part of the life style of people living in Oakland. Art if found everywhere from restaurants to parks. Not to mention the several galleries and cultural events year round. Similarly Nizhny Novgorod is famous for its culture and the way it is reflected across its many galleries, museums, theaters but most significantly in its architecture (Nizhny Novgorod). All of this reflects the history and culture of Nizhny Novgorod. Even though both cities are involved in the arts, the artistic and architectural designs of Nizhny Novgorod are completely different to those of Oakland,

Architectural styles tend to reflect the Stalin Empire and Russian Revival styles (Nizhny Novgorod). I choose to compare and contrast the urban lifestyle of the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia with Oakland, Ca. Because I wanted to learn and prove that even though cities or urban life is described in a certain way, there are many differences between one city to another specially if they are in different countries. When it comes to climate Nizhny Novgorod is colder and experiences snow. Demographically Nizhny Novgorod has a population more than 3 times that of Oakland. Education in Oakland is declining with time while Nizhny Novgorod offers many opportunities to its population. The only similarity between Nizhny Novgorod and Oakland is their cultural appreciation for the arts. All of this differences and similarities help us better understand that urban life is not alike in every city.

Works Cited
City of Oakland . City of Oakland . 2012. Web. 01 April 2012. Brady, Emily. The New York Times. 30 April 2009. Web. 01 April 2012. Federal State Statistics Service. 2010 Russian Census. 2010. Web. 01 April 2012. Habal, Hala. Oakland, Calif., Loses Footing in MBA Market Index. American Banker 163.212 (1998): 14. web. 01 April 2012. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Climatographyof the United States. Climate Normals. Oakland, Ca: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1971-2000. PDF. Nizhny Novgorod. City Administration official site. 12 Nov 2010. web. 01 April 2012. Nizhny Novgorod Regional Government. Government of Nizhny Novgorod Region. 2002-2011. web. 01 April 2012. Pogoda. Weather and climate. 2012. Web. 01 April 2012. Stewart, Pearl. "Oakland Schools Rank LAst in a Survey." San FRancisco Chronicle (1988): 9. web. United states Census Bureau. US Census 2010. 2010. web. 01 April 2012. Western Regional Climate Center. Western Regional Climate Center. 2010. web. 01 April 2012.