Published: 12th Jun 2013

Shrinking cities, managing decline, right sizing – three terms that set alarm bells ringing for any local political party. Well apparently not everywhere, according to the new Shrinking Cities report from URBACT. It tells the intriguing story of the opposition party in Altena (Germany) that ran a successful mayoral campaign openly acknowledging the town’s decline. Was this the beginning of the end for Altena? On the contrary, the Mayor’s vision, realism and bravery have transformed the outlook for the town. The report outlines the familiar cocktail of issues that shrinking cities typically face: declining revenues, rising unemployment, outward migration of economically active populations, surplus buildings and land together with a physical infrastructure which is oversized for the population it serves Shrinking cities is not a phenomenon limited to eastern Europe or the American rustbelt. A recent European Commission report, Shrink Smart, estimates that almost half of all medium sized cities … (To read the full article, subscribe below)