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Friday, March 21 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR-PS18 [POSTER] Shrinking Cities: Examining the Definition, Drivers, Effects and Overarching Theories

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Demographically and economically, there is an ongoing major global shift that has resulted in the emergence of both ‘global’ and ‘shrinking’ cities. International production systems and global networks have transferred considerable manufacturing jobs from developed to developing countries, resulting in the population shrinkage of industrial cities. Aging populations and low fertility rates, characteristics of a second demographic transition, have also impacted population levels in OECD countries - as have post-socialist transitions in Eastern Europe. As these demographic and economic changes have occurred over the past century, urban change theories have evolved alongside. This paper examines the variance in proposed ‘shrinking cities’ definitions and consolidates the various relevant theoretical perspectives from the economic, social and urban literature to determine how they have evolved alongside major population shifts and global economic restructuring. Lastly, a conceptual framework for urban shrinkage is presented, which details the (1) drivers, (2) economic, social and environmental effects, (3) relevant social and economic theories and (4) the urban and regional planning policies and strategies.


Maxwell Hartt

School of Planning, University of Waterloo

Friday March 21, 2014 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Navarro Ballroom (Westin 2nd Floor)