This book examines a rapidly emerging new topic in urban settlement patterns: the role of shrinking cities. Much coverage is given to declining fertility rates, ageing populations and economic restructuring as the factors behind shrinking cities, but there is also reference to resource depletion, the demise of single-company towns and the micro-location of environmental hazards.

The contributions show that shrinkage can occur at any scale – from neighbourhood to macro-region - and they consider whether shrinkage of metropolitan areas as a whole may be a future trend. Also addressed in this volume is the question of whether urban shrinkage policies are necessary or effective.

The book comprises four parts:

  • world or regional issues (with reference to the European Union and Latin America);
  • national case studies (the United States, India, China, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Romania and Estonia);
  • city case studies (Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, Naples, Belfast and Halle);
  • and broad issues such as the environmental consequences of shrinking cities.

This book will be of interest to scholars and practitioners working in the fields of urban studies, economic geography and public policy.

chapter 1|7 pages

Shrinking cities

part I|50 pages

Global and regional

chapter 2|17 pages

International shrinking cities

Analysis, classification, and prospects

chapter 3|19 pages

Shrinking cities in Latin America

An oxymoron?

chapter 4|12 pages

Urban shrinkage in the EU

part II|146 pages

National issues

chapter 5|13 pages

Shrinking cities

The United States

chapter 6|11 pages

The landscape of population decline in the United States

Considering the roles of the demographic components of change and geography 1

chapter 7|16 pages

Are large German cities really shrinking?

Demographic and economic development in recent years

chapter 8|14 pages

Urban shrinkage in Romania

Scope and determinants

chapter 11|17 pages

When growth grinds to a halt

Population and economic development of resource-depleted cities in China

part III|93 pages

Case study cities

chapter 14|12 pages

Driving shrinking Detroit

chapter 16|15 pages

Innovation and shrinking cities

What can we learn from Cleveland's regional innovation system?

chapter 17|9 pages


A shrinking city in eastern Germany

chapter 18|13 pages

The urban area of Naples

From shrinking city to the metropolitan area

chapter 19|21 pages

Declining households in a house divided

The case of Belfast

part IV|27 pages

General issues