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

ByHarry W. Richardson, Chang Woon Nam

part I|50 pages

Global and regional

chapter 2|17 pages

International shrinking cities

Analysis, classification, and prospects
ByWendell Cox

chapter 3|19 pages

Shrinking cities in Latin America

An oxymoron?
ByIvonne Audirac

chapter 4|12 pages

Urban shrinkage in the EU

ByGert-Jan Hospers

part II|146 pages

National issues

chapter 5|13 pages

Shrinking cities

The United States
ByRichard Morrill

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
ByRachel S. Franklin

chapter 7|16 pages

Are large German cities really shrinking?

Demographic and economic development in recent years
ByFlorian Bartholomae, Chang Woon Nam

chapter 8|14 pages

Urban shrinkage in Romania

Scope and determinants
ByAlina M. Schoenberg, Daniela Luminita Constantin

chapter 9|19 pages

Shrinking cities and processes in Estonia

ByPeter Friedrich, Aivo Ülper, Kadri Ukrainski

chapter 10|14 pages

Shrinking cities in South Korea

The future
ByHarry W. Richardson, Chang-Hee Christine Bae

chapter 11|17 pages

When growth grinds to a halt

Population and economic development of resource-depleted cities in China
BySylvia Y. He

chapter 12|13 pages

The paradox of shrinking cities in India

BySukumar Ganapati

chapter 13|23 pages

Are cities in Taiwan shrinking?

ByMichael Cheng-Yi Lin

part III|93 pages

Case study cities

chapter 14|12 pages

Driving shrinking Detroit

ByGeorge Galster

chapter 15|21 pages

Planning for regional depopulation in Greater Buffalo 1

ByJustin Hollander, Bernard Cahill

chapter 16|15 pages

Innovation and shrinking cities

What can we learn from Cleveland's regional innovation system?
ByMichael S. Fogarty, Gasper A. Garofalo

chapter 17|9 pages


A shrinking city in eastern Germany
ByFlorian Bartholomae, Chang Woon Nam

chapter 18|13 pages

The urban area of Naples

From shrinking city to the metropolitan area
ByGerardo Schettino

chapter 19|21 pages

Declining households in a house divided

The case of Belfast
ByFrank Gaffikin, Ken Sterrett

part IV|27 pages

General issues

chapter 20|10 pages

Compact development as a factor in income resilience among shrinking counties in the United States

Statistical analysis with policy implications
ByArthur C. Nelson, Susan Petheram, Reid Ewing, Philip Stoker, Shima Hamidi

chapter 21|15 pages

Environmental impacts of shrinking cities

ByTilman Rave