Conceptualizing urban shrinkage

Conceptualizing urban shrinkage

Authors of this recently published article are well known in the academic world of urban shrinkage. If you are interested in this topic you’ve most likely came across these names before. Annegret Haase, Dieter Rink, Katrin Grossmann, Matthias Bernt and Vlad Mykhnenko (1). They have published, jointly and individually, various publications regarding urban shrinkage tackling topics such as: re-urbanization, urban governance, design, etc1.

In their most recent article they stress the lack of conceptualization of urban shrinkage in the current literature and its integration in wider theoretical debates. They then propose a conceptual framework in which place specific and time- specific explanations can be embedded. Authors plea for studying shrinkage as a process: thus moving away from one dimensional views of shrinkage. This one- dimensionality can be observed in many publications on this topic. In order to avoid this, integrating theoretical explanations with historical trajectories (meso studies) is necessary. This approach moves away from ill-founded transfers of best practices. Presented conceptual framework is applied to two cases: Makiivka (Ukraine) and Halle (Germany) portraying “pluralist world of shrinkages”.

Maja Rocak


(1) Haase A, Rink D, Grossmann K, Bernt M, Mykhnenko V. Conceptualizing urban shrinkage. Environment and Planning A. 2014;46(7):1519-34.

1 See this database for more examples