Essay, 7 pages (1700 words)

Behaviour of shrinking cities tourism essay

” Behaviour of Shrinking Cities”

Research Questions –

1. Does the term shrinking cities cover the transformation that is actually happening in real life? 2. What kind of negative urban developments are experienced in Shrinking cities? 3. Analysing the above negative urban developments and discussing what could be the possible ways to achieve sustainability? 4. What is the relation between urban growth and urban decline?

Aims –

The aim of the research is to understand and analyse the negative urban development in shrinking cities and how did some of those cities transformed to become sustainable, so as to understand if the same approach can help other shrinking cities to become sustainable.

Objectives –

To find a proper definition and description of a shrinking city. To locate all the shrinking cities and to analyse possible reason for population decrease in those cities with the help of case studies. To explore the observatory methods and processes portending shrinking of cities. To find the sufficient assumptions, in reference to shrinking cities, for deciding successful approaches to achieve sustainability.


Modern and developed cities around the world are facing population declines at a scale which were never seen before. Over the last fifty years, 370 cities throughout the world with population over 100, 000 are seen shrinking by at least 10%. Wide areas of the U. S., Canada, Europe and Japan are expecting much more decline in their population in the future. Students and professionals of the built environment are showing a lot of concern for this crisis by re-conceived decline as shrinkage and have started to explore ways for cities to shrink successfully. Here in these cities, the abundance of vacant land can be due to either less market demand or because of people migrating to other places and abandoning their properties. There is a lot of research to be done and reasons to be found, so that we can find a way to make these cities sustainable.(pdf – 1 pg-60)Succeeding the exposition of shrinking cities the balance between growth anddecline will be handled. This will first, shortly, be in a descriptive view looking at growth and decline in a historical perspective. Here, the point of departure will be the industrialization of the western world: USA and Europe. This historical perspective can be coined in the title: the move from countryside to city and the breakthrough of planning – covering the period of industrialization. Following this historical view the exposition enters into a more contemporary discussion looking at how urban growth and urban decline are allocated today. Tendencies are pointing towards an increasing spatial polarization – what could be causing this? Here I will look at two causes: globalization and neo-liberalization. The discussion will expand to include larger parts of the world, from only including USA and Europe, reflecting the increased globalization. I will look at how the development of globalization is affecting the urban development, the welfare state and the socio-spatial relations. Furthermore, I will look at how other scholars are handling and discussing this increased polarization.


The need of time is a proper understanding and strategic planning for an urban shrinking city. The purpose of literature review for a research of shrinking cities is to understand the history of such cities, reasons and results of an urban shrinkage, acknowledge the implementation of cultural and other methods of planning and finally will help to give some valid recommendation for successful policies. For Literature Review, I wish to consult and take help of several articles, texts written by several theorists in the history of urbanism, etc. The advisable papers published by several research bodies, several live projects of the development of good urbanism and guidance from different guidelines generated by the civil authority bodies. During the literature analysis, effort will be given to compile the given data about shrinking cities proposition. The chapters will include all the above stated source of data. HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDStudy of present condition of a shrinking city shall begin with queries regarding sufficient and legal growth in urban history. Some of historical points to be discussed here are: Basis and consequences of a shrinking process in context with history. The fluctuation in condition of antique cities. Industrialisation (started in other half of 18th century): The effects of industrial revolution over urbanism. De-industrialisation and improved the policies and strategies of economy improvement. IN REFERENCE WITH THE HISTORY OF CITIES THE REASONS AND RESULTS OF SHRINKING: The growth and declination of historical cities: There were basic five reasons of the shrinking of a city and those are wars, the loss of existence, city fires, natural calamities and epidemics. These all are reasons of shrinking of cities in pre-industrial time. Industrialisation: the period of industrial revolution was a time when the urbanisation took a big turn and as a result urban growth speeded up and resulted in a long life successful urbanisation. De-industrialisation and fresh ways of economy: The de-industrialisation adversely effected industries like mining, ship-building, steel and textile. There’s no city which never needs a reinvention for itself to stand in global competition for a good economic stand. THE TYPES OF SHRINKING(taxonomy)The consequence of industrialisations and de-industrialisation introduced several new elements to urban development as well as shrinking. A huge alteration in urbanism and its growth needs an adjusting typological strategy for reasons and results of the shrinking. According to Oswalt & Rieniets (2006) there are 4 categorised reasons for the shrinking of a city: Destruction, Loss, Shifting, Changes (Oswalt & Rieniets 2006: 39 – 127). As a result it gave an illogical junction and distinction of economy, demography, political and social-cultural developments into 4 categories which will be discussed later on. The categories are listed down: Economic development: According to some theorists, the world economy shifted to a network economy during de-industrialisation and thus finally resulted in the origin of shrinkage of cities. There has been a time for the cities during urbanisation that the city followed the path of increasing job opportunities in industrial areas but after sometime the same cities suffered lost their existence in the global economic competitions. It has been experienced that the economic value of a region is highly affected by de-industrialisation as well as world level fight for existence. Taking example of a social economical practice of labour involvement amongst females and migration of the population. Demographic trends: Basically the reason for the shrinking of a city is considered to be the demographical change of an area. Although, at one place economy fluctuate the demographical scale, the other reason is the several demographic trends for the downfall in the number of population. Ageing: Demographic changes completely depend on the area’s birth rate and the death rate. If there is any fluctuation in the above written rates, it can result in the ageing factor that finally concludes the shrinking process of a city. The declination in birth rate directly effects the educational arrangements made with the consideration of future growth. Also the earning is decreased although the price of education never changes. Selective Migration: Several analysis of any migration done from a city to another includes some interesting groups for example family along with kids searching for a comfortable, habitable society which should include facilities for primary education, university level education and most importantly a fair employment for high educated population. The migration of such groups may show a loss of number in labour group of the city. On the other hand immigration may result into the increment of incoming of refugees and skilled labours. But this process may result in some social complications for example integrating with the citizens of the area. Political Developments: The transformation by political declaration of several issues for example democracy, decolonisation, etc. helps in huge modification in a growth of a gid urbanism. Socio-cultural factors: The above described issue of selective migration shows that there is a huge requirement of residential facilities and public services. This requirement is further effected by socio-cultural factors such as individual interests and variation in living style and preference to the type of house. To fulfil these needs, the planners were advised to take the concept of green housing, in which the higher class families are given grand facilities, which again fails the idea and requires a lot of effort to balance the integration of the society. There are also some other, not so highlighted but important factors for the fluctuation in demographic scale such as the after results of wars, natural and ecological calamities and epidemic diseases. These factors showed up in pre-industrial period of urban shrinking. The cities facing industrial revolute ion also got the side effects of the above factors and resulted in the shrinking of the cities. Vanishing and unavailability of natural resources may also have a bad impression on the counting of residing people. Defining the shrinkageThe word shrinkage has several meanings, but it is seen that it basically compiles the demographic development of decline. For different cases of shrinking the reason or the basic cause or effect of shrinkage varies so it is not fair enough to share any one type of cause or effect to define shrinkage. Although, major part of the definition is that shrinkage includes demographic development as a principle. A famous book and writer shares an interesting definition of shrinkage. The book is ‘ Atlas of shrinking cities’ Oswalt & Rienients (2006) and the definition is as follows:” Shrinking cities as referred to in this atlas are cities that have temporarily or permanently lost a significant number of their inhabitants. Population losses are considered to be significant if they amount to a total of at least 10% or more than 1% annually” (Oswalt & Rieniets 2006: 156). The complete emphasis of the research concentrates on urban shrinkage. The above definition do explains that the shrinkage is a downfall of population but on the other hand it is important to understand through this research, the proper structural framework to work on practical policy establishment and implementation. RESEARCH STRATEGY’A research strategy is a plan of action that gives our effort a direction to help us in conducting a systematic research rather than a random research’. With the help of good research strategy, student can concentrate in finding relevant data and can ensure good results of the study done according to the stated aims and objectives. For example: case studies, surveys, observations, interviews, etc. helps in compiling the dissertation. And from all the research strategies, case study is the most important one which can helps in examine the informative data and compare it with objectives.

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