Siberia is an enormous area in north Asia spreading from the Urals in the west to mountainous ridges of the Okhotsk Sea coast in the east, from the Arctic Ocean in the north to borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China in the south.
Three great rivers, the Ob, the Enisei and the Lena, flow across the territory of Siberia. The world oldest and deepest lake Baikal is found here. The world greatest lowland, the West-Siberian Plan, covers 2.7 million km of Siberia’s territory. About a half of the planet’s boreal forests grow here. Here is the world largest natural forests-swamp complex. Mountainous massifs and highlands occupy large areas in Eastern Siberia. Mountain systems border Siberia from the west, the east and the south, enclosing it from cyclones of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, as well as from hot Central Asia.
In Siberia, latitudinal zoning of natural landscapes is well expressed. From the north to the south, tundra passes into boreal forests, forest-steppe alternates steppe. Mountains, characterized by vertical zoning of climate and biota, frame these landscapes.
Common points for the whole Siberia are an extreme continental and often cold climate and vast permafrost areas.
The area of Siberia is greater than one-half of the area of the Russian Federation, almost equal to the area of Europe, almost a quarter of the entire Asia or 1/15 of the whole land of the Earth. In dimensions, population density and climatic conditions, Siberia is mostly similar to Canada.
Its population, residing mainly along the Trans-Siberian Railway and in the south, amounts to 15% of the whole Russia population. It is the most northern, the coldest and the least populated part of Siberia that is fraught with immense natural riches.
Development of Siberia, since its joining Russia in late XVI century has always been associated exploitation of its natural resources: first fur, then lands and noble metals, now mostly raw materials and power resources.
The future of Siberia largely depends on the scientific and educational potential accumulated here. Its core is the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Novosibirsk Akademgorodok, situated 30 km to the south of the city centre, was intended as the world-first comprehensive science centre. Here, according to the SB RAS founder’s idea, research teams authoritative in all major fields of basic science were formed.
The campus (Akademgorodok) territorially unite research and design institutes, pilot plants, residential areas equipped with social, cultural and health care services, kindergartens, schools, etc. They have a well-developed municipal infrastructure, including water service and public electric supply, transport service, hotels, conference halls, business centers, modern communication service, etc.
Over the years since its foundation, Akademgorodok has become a prestigious place to work, to live and to rest. Here, within a large track of forest, a residential areas and institutes are located in close proximity. Today Akademgorodok is gradually transforming into techno park zone.