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Exploring the Future of Suburban Neighbourhoods under Conditions of Declining Growth


Declining growth as an evolutional phenomenon of cities in old-industrialized countries has been object of a large body of research and led to manifold strategies for planners, administration and owners.

At the same time suburban areas prospered, provoking the ´donut effect`, so that suburbanization was often blamed to be a push factor for the urban decay. However, in recent years some suburbs themselves face the challenges of decline due to economic, social and demographic change.

Most of the urban strategies are not appropriate for handling problems arising from the specific trajectories of suburban development. The aim of the workshop is to explore the current debate regarding differences of suburbs and their evolution, possibilities of sustainable development, and lessons learned from empirical analyses.

It is the „kick-off“ of a project on shrinkage and declining growth in suburbia the ILS has recently started to work on. We want to explore both, the character shrinkage and decline in suburbia in an international context and adaptation strategies understanding decline as a chance.

Previously, ILS studied risks and opportunities of older single-family-housing estates in times of demographic and economic change.

We are cooperating in a network with partners from Université Paris Est, Université Liège, Cardiff University, Karlsruher Institute of Technology, University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, SBRCURnet Rotterdam, and Saxion University of Applied Sciences Deventer to analyse the different trends and conditions of shrinkage in neighbourhoods in Europe.

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Tanja Ernst | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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