chapter  1
Introduction
WithKARINA PALLAGST, CRISTINA MARTINEZ-FERNANDEZ
Pages 11

SHRINKING CITIES: AN EMERGING PLANNING PHENOMENON

When investigating shrinking cities, one encounters manifold striking loose ends regarding what the shrinkage of cities or regions means: is it a taboo, a planning paradigm, a research agenda, a justifi cation for bulldozing abandoned quarters or “old wine in new bottles”? There is meanwhile consensus that urban shrinkage is a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing regions, cities and parts of cities or metropolitan areas that are experiencing a dramatic decline in their economic and social bases and are facing population losses. The causes of this urban decline are complex, but in many ways they can be understood as socio-spatial manifestations of the forces of globalization (Pallagst 2007; Martinez-Fernandez et al. 2012).