Designing the Shrinking City

Authored by: Justin B. Hollander

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:


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Despite overall global population increases, not all places are growing. Whether due to natural or human-made circumstances, many cities and towns are in a state of population or employment decline (Oswalt and Rieniets 2006; Pallagst et al. 2014). This chapter reviews the mechanisms by which physical disorder results from decline, and then turns to the question of how urban design can help impact communities. Several examples of varying design and policy approaches to decline are explored, in both urban residential and downtown neighborhoods. The chapter concludes with reflections on the role and aims of urban design in the face of shrinkage.

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