1st Edition

Future Directions for the European Shrinking City

Edited By William Neill, Hans Schlappa Copyright 2016
    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    Urban shrinkage is rising to the top of the political agenda in Europe as more cities are shrinking in the prolonged economic downturn we encounter. Coupled with unprecedented budgetary austerity and rapidly ageing populations, ‘stagnating’ and ‘shrinking’ cities have emerged as a key challenge for policy and practice for decades to come. Local actors need to find new ways of collaborating across sectors, agencies and disciplines to unlock opportunities for interventions that mitigate the worst effects of urban shrinkage and long-term decline.

    Future Directions for the European Shrinking City focuses on policy and planning interventions that can be taken by municipalities and their local stakeholders to tackle stagnation and decline. With case studies from a range of European countries this book proposes ways to tackle shrinkage through governance, policy, planning, social, economic and management interventions.

    Edited by William J.V. Neill and Hans Schlappa, this book is ideally suited for policy makers and practitioners in urban planning, regeneration, and economic development dealing with pressing spatial and socio-economic issues on a European scale.

    1. W(h)ither the European shrinking city?—William J. V. Neill and Hans Schlappa 2. Carry on shrinking? The bankruptcy of urban policy in Detroit—William J. V. Neill 3. Governing social cohesion in shrinking cities: the cases of Ostrava, Genoa and Leipzig—Caterina Cortese, Katrin Grossmann, Annegret Haase and Iva Ticha 4. Civic engagement and development strategies: learning from the experience of participatory rural redevelopment—David Houston, Stephen McKay and Michael Murray 5. The role of the social economy in the shrinking city—Brendan Murtagh 6. Doing things differently: co-producing responses to urban shrinkage—Hans Schlappa 7. The challenge of temporary usage in the shrinking city: a report from the ‘laboratory of Berlin’—Christian Porst and William J. V. Neill 8. Shrinking cities and food: place-making for sustainable renewal, reuse and retrofit—Susan Parham 9. Green open spaces and urban perforation – opportunities, concepts and challenges for shrinking cities—Cornelius Scherzer 10. Managing brownfield land in stagnant land markets—Uwe Ferber and Hans Schlappa 11. Managing service infrastructures in shrinking cities: challenges and opportunities—Jörg Walther 12. Coming of age: age-friendly strategies for shrinking cities—Roos Galjaard 13. If not growth what then? Re-thinking the strategy process for shrinking cities—Hans Schlappa 14. Conclusions: priorities for tackling shrinkage in Europe’s cities—Hans Schlappa and William J. V. Neill


    William J. V. Neill is Emeritus Professor of Spatial Planning at the University of Aberdeen. He previously held academic appointments at the University of Manchester and Queen’s University Belfast. He completed a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham. He worked as an urban planner for the State of Michigan in the 1970s and 1980s with a particular focus on the shrinking city of Detroit. He is a former Council member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and was recently a member of an EU urban expert (URBACT) group on the future of European shrinking cities.

    Hans Schlappa is Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at the University of Hertfordshire. He worked at Aston University and Coventry University before joining Hertfordshire Business School in 2010. Dr Schlappa has led a number of European knowledge transfer projects concerned with urban regeneration and undertaken research for the Home Office, Department of Work and Pensions, Regional Government Offices and Regional Development Agencies as well as a wide range of not-for-profit organisations in the UK. His current research includes projects on leadership in the co-production of public services, social inclusion and community development through place-making, and strategic leadership of cities suffering from long-term decline. Prior to his academic appointments Dr Schlappa managed the development and delivery of a wide range of socio-economic regeneration initiatives in the UK.

    "You will find in this book key answers for the dilemma that half of European cities are facing: How to deal with "shrinking" when expansion and growth were always the only way for decision makers and practitioners envisioned the future of their cities? How to develop a liveable city with this new paradigm and to transform threats in opportunities? With a variety of contributions, the authors call for new governance and strategy at the city level to bring together physical, social and economic interventions. They clearly confirm the priorities for 2014-2020 of European programmes on exchange and learning, like URBACT III, based on their experience." –Emmanuel Moulin, Head of the URBACT Secretariat

    "Shrinking cities are a pressing contemporary challenge for urban planners, designers, and policymakers in postindustrial societies around the globe. Highlighting European innovations in the social and governmental sectors, William Neill and Hans Schlappa’s volume will be a valuable resource for academics, practitioners, and citizens concerned with urban revitalization." –Brent D. Ryan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    "While contemporary urban studies and policy are seemingly obsessed with city growth, this landmark collection focuses on the flipside of decline. In Future Directions for the European Shrinking City, William J.V. Neill and Hans Schlappa have convened key international voices, analysing the causes, predicaments and the paths ahead for cities confronting shrinkage. This is a critical text for cross-disciplinary scholarship, debates and policy deliberation." –Andy Pike, Newcastle University

    "The mega-trends of shrinkage across Europe’s urban landscapes are clear. What we struggle with is how to tackle the complexity of challenges involved in making Europe’s shrinking cities liveable again. Neill and Schlappa address the issue directly by providing the reader with a vivid tapestry of workable strategies and practical solutions. We need more books like this one." –Vlad Mykhnenko, University of Birmingham