The introduction produces the necessary conceptual map to provide a starting point of discussion on questions, knowledge and actions on the forms of the project for the city in shrinking contexts and an opening and outline of what emerges from the six scenes. It retraces the genesis of a research experience and frames a topic as changeable and elusive as it is central to contemporary spatial culture. In this part, the text attempts, on the one hand, to avoid the hasty abandonment of this topic and, on the other, to avoid the risk of harnessing shrinking German cities in a consolidated image. Furthermore, this first section gives the intent and explains the book’s structure.