Novokuznetsk is a city located in the Kemerovo region of Russia, located in the middle western part of the country. It's population is about 545,000. Situated on the banks of the Tom River, the city lies below the junction of the river with the city of Kondoma. Founded in 1617 as a small village, the city began to grow in the 1930s thanks to the local iron and steel producing facilities, gradually becoming a leader in chemical products, mining vehicles and bridge girder industrial products. The city, which also is home to several important coal mines, has metallurgy and education institutes. Kemerovo State University, Siberian State Industrial University, Kuzbass State Pedagogical Academy are a few of the city's universities. The main transport route in the city is via Spichenkovo Airport. At the same time, railroads, trams, buses and trolleys also provide transportation links in and around the city.