Contemporary Challenges in Planning for Shrinkage of Historic Places: A Review

Open access


Urban shrinkage is among of the most dangerous current risks for the preservation of liveability (e.g. residential function) in formerly prosperous historical residential and industrial districts. The planning for shrinkage emerged only in the 21st century in order to manage and prevent growing urban decay, depopulation and housing crisis through the application of smart structural adjustment policies and planning instruments for formerly heavily industrialised North American and Asian cities. Both shrinkage and liveability planning are still very “fuzzy” concepts and have been applied in ways that are not always consistent (e.g. for measuring decline, migration, demographics). However, remains the question of what (methods or approaches) would prevent (control) this well-known but evidently “wicked” and still less explored phenomenon of “loss of liveability” in a historical built environment. This paper aims to review the urban shrinkage and liveability problematic and prevention solutions (methods) based on studies of theory and practice of urban planning.

1. Bontje, M. Facing the challenge of shrinking cities in East Germany: The case of Leipzig. GeoJournal, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2004, pp. 13–21.

2. Hollander, J. B., Pallagst, K., Schwarz, T., Popper, F. J. Planning Shrinking Cities [online]. SSRN Scholarly Paper [cited 02.01.2019.]. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, 2009.

3. Pallagst, K. Shrinking cities: planning challenges from an international perspective. Cities Growing Smaller. Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, 2008. pp. 6–16.

4. Li, H., Mykhnenko, V. Urban shrinkage with Chinese characteristics. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 184, No. 4, 2018, pp. 398–412.

5. Mohdin, A. The fastest shrinking countries on earth are in Eastern Europe [online]. Quartz [cited 15.11.2018.]. 24 January 2018.

6. Biswas, A. K., Tortajada, C., Stavenhagen, M. In an urbanizing world, shrinking cities are a forgotten problem [online]. World Economic Forum [cited 30.11.2018.].

7. Bliss, L. How Much Does Sprawl Cost American Commuters? [online]. CityLab [cited 02.01.2019.], 8 June 2016.

8. Carruthers, J. I., Ulfarsson, G. F. Urban Sprawl and the Cost of Public Services. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2018, p. 503–522.

9. Castells, M. European Cities, the Informational Society, and the Global Economy. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, Vol. 84, No. 4, 1993, pp. 247–257.

10. Delvac, W. F., Escherich, S., Hartman, B. Affordable housing through historic preservation: a case study guide to combining the tax credits. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Cultural Resources, Preservation Assistance: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1994, 74 p. ISBN 978-0-16-045258-1.

11. Rhule, J. Richard Florida, the Creative Class and Gentrification [online]. The Shifting Human City: Essay Series on Current and Future Policy

12. Housing policy in the EU member states [online]. European Parliament [cited 15.11.2018.]. Directorate General for Research, Working Document, Social Affairs Series, 1996.

13. Robbins, J. A Short History of Urban Planning. Drawn from: Richard LeGates and Frederic Stout, “Modernism and Early Urban Planning”; Paul Knox, “Urbanization”; Barry Cullingworth, “Planning in the USA.” [online]. SlidePlayer [cited 02.01.2019.].

14. Haines, A., Walbrun, K., Kemp, S., Roffers, M. Land use resource guide: a guide to preparing the land use element of a local comprehensive plan. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point/Extension, Center for Land Use Education, 2005, 124 p.

15. Beyer, S. Inclusionary Zoning Is Rent Control 2.0, 2015 [online]. Forbes [cited 30.11.2018.].

16. Boone, A. The Overlooked Cities of the Rust Belt, 2017 [online]. CityLab [cited 15.11.2018.].

17. Houghton, L., Tuffley, D. Towards a Methodology of Wicked Problem Exploration through Concept Shifting and Tension Point Analysis. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2015, pp. 283–297.

18. Hollander, J. B., Cahill, B. Confronting Population Decline in the Buffalo, New York, Region: A Close Reading of the “Erie-Niagara Framework for Regional Growth.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2011, pp. 252–267.

19. Blyth, R. What does Brexit mean for Planning and Planners? 2016 [online]. Royal Town Planning Institute [cited 08.12.2018.].

20. Florida, R. Cities and the Creative Class. City & Community, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2003, pp. 3–19.

21. Skaburskis, A. The Origin of “Wicked Problems.” Planning Theory & Practice. Vol. 9, No. 2, 2008, pp. 277–280.

22. Higgins, B. (ed.). Annotated Sample Inclusionary Housing Ordinance [online]. The California Inclusionary Housing Reader [cited 02.01.2019.]. Sacramento, CA: Institute for Local Self Government, 2003. pp. 121–148.

23. Martinez-Fernandez, C., Weyman, T., Fol, S. et. al. Shrinking cities in Australia, Japan, Europe and the USA: From a global process to local policy responses. Progress in Planning, Vol. 105, 2016, pp. 1–48.

24. Three Most Influential Planning Cases of 2015: Affordable Housing, Historic Preservation and Limits to Local Government Decision-Making, 2015 [online]. Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association [cited 30.11.2018.].

25. Tiebout, C. M. A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 64, No. 5, 1956, pp. 416–424.

26. Smith, S. Why I don’t like Inclusionary Zoning, 2010 [online]. Market Urbanism [cited 30.11.2018.].

27. Metcalf, G. The Path to a Livable City, 2002 [online]. Livable City [cited 02.01.2019.].

28. Vicenzotti, V., Qviström, M. Zwischenstadt as a travelling concept: towards a critical discussion of mobile ideas in transnational planning discourses on urban sprawl. European Planning Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2018, pp. 115–132.

29. Zellner, M., Campbell, S. D. Planning for deep-rooted problems: What can we learn from aligning complex systems and wicked problems? Planning Theory & Practice. Vol. 16, No. 4, 2015, pp. 457–478.

30. Camillus, J. C. Strategy as a Wicked Problem, 2008 [online]. Harvard Business Review [cited 02.01.2019.].

31. Conklin, E. J. Dialogue mapping: building shared understanding of wicked problems. Chichester, England; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006, 242 p. ISBN 978-0-470-01768-5.

32. Conklin, J. Wicked Problems and Social Complexity [online]. CogNexus Institute, 2010. [cited 30.11.2018.].

33. Degrace, P., Stahl, L. H. Wicked problems, righteous solutions: a catologue of modern software engineering paradigms. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1990. ISBN 978-0-13-590126-7.

34. Rittel, H.W.J., Webber, M.M. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1973, pp. 155–169.

35. Hartmann, T. Wicked problems and clumsy solutions: Planning as expectation management. Planning Theory, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2012, pp. 242–256.

36. Tietjen, A., Jørgensen, G. Translating a wicked problem: A strategic planning approach to rural shrinkage in Denmark. Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 154, 2016, pp. 29–43.

37. Houghton, L., Tuffley, D. Towards a Methodology of Wicked Problem Exploration through Concept Shifting and Tension Point Analysis: Concept Shifting and Tension Point Analysis. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2015, pp. 283–297.

38. Wong, E. Wicked Problems: 5 Steps to Help You Tackle Wicked Problems by Combining Systems Thinking with Agile Methodology, 2018 [online]. The Interaction Design Foundation [cited 02.01.2019.].

39. Hooke, W. Wicked problems, 2010 [online]. Living on the Real World [cited 08.12.2018.].

40. Zhang, J., Kim, Y. Digital government and wicked problems: Solution or problem? Information Polity. Vol. 21, No. 3, 2016, pp. 215–221.

41. ‘Problem’ populations, ‘problem’ places [online]. OpenLearn [cited 02.01.2019.].

42. Nunns, P., Denne, T. The costs and benefits of urban development: A theoretical and empirical synthesis, 2016 [online]. New Zealand Association of Economists [cited 02.01.2019.].

43. Haase, D. Shrinking Cities, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services [online]. Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities [cited 02.01.2019.]. Dordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 2013. pp. 253–274. ISBN 978-94-007-7087-4.

44. Colini, L. EU Urban Agenda: The challenge of “affordable housing” in Europe, 2016 [online]. URBACT [cited 02.01.2019.].

45. Kauko, T. Sustainable Development of the Built Environment: The Role of the Residential/Housing Sector. Sustainable Development - Education, Business and Management - Architecture and Building Construction - Agriculture and Food Security. 2012, pp. 161–174.

46. Rhodes, J., Russo, J. Shrinking ‘Smart’?: Urban Redevelopment and Shrinkage in Youngstown, Ohio. Urban Geography, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2013, pp. 305–326.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 119 119 14
PDF Downloads 43 43 12