Abstract. This paper is an introduction to the theme of the issue “The Story of a City”. The paper examines main approaches to the study of formation and city development processes. It identifies the main historiographical schools. The city as the phenomenon is studied within the tradition of modernity. Referring to experience of Russian and foreign researchers, different stages in the study of cities are compared, and key gaps in the urban transfer are identified. The city regarded as a socio-cultural phenomenon that includes a wide variety of structures and practices of everyday life. The journal issue discusses the following thrilling topics: the correlation between “city” and “urban space” in the context of “new local stories”, the formation of the main research schools of urban history in the South of Russia, the values of life of citizens, the development of so-called “red” cities – the social democratic Vienna and Bolshevik Moscow, the interactions of urban identities in small peripheral towns, places of historical memory about the Great Patriotic war in Russian cities, etc. Under the heading “Discussion” questions about the contradictions of urban development and new trends of urbanization are discussed.
Keywords: city, urban dweller, urban identity, urban routine practices.