Ekaterinburg is a fourth largest Russian city, administrative center of the Sverdlovsk Region and Ural Federal District. With its large population, Ekaterinburg floor area is significantly smaller than that of cities with similar population, making it the most compact million-plus city. The city is located on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, in the floodplain of the Iset River (tributary of the Tobol River).
The location on the Europe-Asia border is reflected in the emblems and branding of the territory, as well as in branding of its facilities and events.
The first cluster is the Ekaterinburg metropolitan area with its municipalities (Pervouralsk, Revda, Degtyarsk, Polevskoy, Sysert, Aramil, Beloyarsk, Zarechny, Verkhneye Dubrovo, Asbest, Reftinsky, Malysheva, Beryozovsky, Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Sredneuralsk urban districts and Uralsky Settlement municipality). It comprises 50% of the region's population, over 55% of processing industry and over 60% of investments into fixed assets.
The second largest cluster is the Gornozavodsk metropolitan area with its center in Nizhny Tagil city (Gornouralsk, Verkhnyaya Tura, Kushvinsk, Krasnouralsk, Verkhnyaya Salda, Nizhnyaya Salda, Kirovgrad, Nevyansk, Verkhny Tagil, Novouralsk, Verkh-Neyvinsky urban districts, Nizhny Tagil city and Closed Administrative-Territorial Formation of Svobodny). It provides 20% of the industrial manufacturing.
The third cluster is the group of Northern cities (Severouralsk, Karpinsk, Krasnoturyinsk, Volchansk and Serov urban districts). Its share in the industrial manufacturing is 10%. The special place is held by the fourth cluster of high production activity – Kamensk-Uralsky city (Sverdlovsk Region Social and Economic Development Strategy for 2016-2030 defines Kamensk-Uralsky as a part of the Ekaterinburg metropolitan area), as well as several municipal entities of the Eastern Administrative District (Irbit, Artyomovsk, Kamyshlov, Tavda, Talitsa, Turinsk, Tugulymsk urban districts and Alapaevsk city municipal entity), which specialize on machine building and woodworking.
Historically the border between Europe and Asia is drawn along the watershed of the western slope of the Ural Mountains. Unique location of the Sverdlovsk Region allowed it to absorb the best of the two cultures. The model of the real "Europe-Asia Border" art-object is exhibited in the Presentation Center. The actual border is not as much a result of good reasoning and geographic location as of history and geopolitics. Back in the 18th century, Philip Johan von Strahlenberg, the Swedish scientist, was first who proposed an idea in world academic literature that the border between Europe and Asia lies on the Stone (it was the name of the Ural Mountains during that time). Vasily Tatishchev was first to call it the Ural Mountains or simply the Urals. He came to the conclusion that the Europe Asia border lies in the Ural Mountains. Read more about it in his work "General Geographic Description of All Siberia".
In total, 34 Europe-Asia obelisks are installed within the Sverdlovsk Region. One of the most easy-to-reach and visited places for crossing the border within Ekaterinburg is the 13th kilometer of the Moscow Tract, the exact coordinates are 56˚50′N and 60˚38′E. This is the place where a new geographic sign of the border between two parts of the world was erected in 2004. The first-ever similar sign made of Ural marble was erected on the Beryozovaya mountain within a few kilometers from Pervouralsk in 1837 for the visit of 19-year-old Royal Prince Alexander (future Alexander II). During the revolution, the four-sided pole was demolished, and nowadays there is a 25-meter red granite monument sign, erected on Beryozovaya. Europe-Asia obelisks can also be found in Mramorsk and Kedrovka villages, Uralets, Kurganovo and Baranchinsky settlements, on Kotel and Kamennaya mountains and in many other parts of the Sverdlovsk Region.