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Department of Spatial Planning
SCiRN™

Shrinking Cities International Research Network

Urban shrinkage processes are a worldwide phenomenon at the beginning of the 21st century. While in the period from 1960 to 1990 about one in six major cities worldwide was still shrinking in terms of population, this proportion increased sharply in the 1990s, so that today about a quarter of major cities are losing population. The reasons for this are manifold and have only just begun to be investigated. In particular, there is a great need

Project Objective:

The SCiRN network has the task of improving the state of research on the causes, manifestations, spatial variations and effects of population declines and shrinkage processes in urban regions and on the effectiveness of the associated challenges worldwide.

Urban shrinkage processes are a globally observable phenomenon at the beginning of the 21st century. Whereas in the period from 1960 to 1990 about one in six major cities worldwide was considered to be shrinking in terms of population, this proportion increased sharply in the 1990s, so that today about a quarter of major cities are experiencing population losses. The reasons for this are manifold and have only just begun to be investigated. The joint project, in which the Chair of Spatial Planning and Planning Theory is one of 25 scientific partners from five continents, investigates shrinking cities on a global scale using a uniform research design. For this purpose, comparative case studies are conducted in 30 cities, taking into account the specific social, economic, ecological and spatial aspects in selected areas affected by shrinkage in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

In addition to the knowledge objectives, the project focuses on the continuous development of an expert network for the exchange of information and experience on shrinking cities. The organisational framework is the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN), which organises meetings and symposia once or twice a year.

Events held:

  •     Roundtable "Shrinking cities in a global perspective" at the AESOP Congress in Vienna in July 2005.
  •     Symposium "Shrinking cities in a global context" in March 2006 at the TU Dresden
  •     2 Thematic Sessions at the World Planning Schools Congress in Mexico City in July 2006
  •     Symposium "The Future of Shrinking Cities: Problems, Patterns and Strategies of Urban Transformation in a Global Context" February 2007 at   UC Berkeley, California
  •     Thematic Sessions and a Roundtable at the Joint ACSP / AESOP Congress in July 2008 in Chicago
  •     "Shrinking Cities South/North" Research Seminar in July 2008 at Florida State University, Tallahassee
  •     Thematic Sessions at the 8th IUPEA Symposium "Parallel Patterns of Urban Growth and Decline" in Kaiserslautern in March 2009
  •     International Symposium "The Creativity of Shrinking Cites" in Osaka in October 2009
  •     Thematic Sessions at the AESOP Congress in July 2010 in Helsinki
  •     Conference "Shrinkage in Europe - Causes, Effects and Policy Strategies" in February 2011 in Amsterdam
  •     Thematic Session at the AESOP Conference in July 2012 in Ankara
  •     3 Thematic Sessions at the 32nd International Geographical Congress in Cologne in August 2012.

In addition, close bilateral contacts are maintained with Osaka City University - among other things in the form of reciprocal guest stays.

"The Future of Shrinking Cities: Problems, Patterns and Strategies of Urban Transformation in a Global Context".

In March 2007, Prof. Dr. Wiechmann gave insights into the shrinking processes in East Germany in a radio interview with Smart Cities Radio (Chicago). The complete interview is available in .mp3 format at the following link:

Radio interview on Smart Cities Radio (Chicago) from 08.03.2007.


Project Management / SCiRN Chair of Managing Board: Prof. Thorsten Wiechmann

Contact: Prof. Thorsten Wiechmann

Duration: since 2004

Cooperation partner:

  • University of Calinfornia at Berkeley
  • Florida State University
  • Osaka City University
  • University of Guadalajara
  • University of Western Sydney, Urban Research Centre
  • University of Itajaí Valley (Brazil)
  • Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
  • Université Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne
  • Université Rennes 2 - Haute Bretagne
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
  • Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd

 

Location & approach

The campus of the Technical University of Dortmund is located near the freeway junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerland line A45 crosses the Ruhr expressway B1/A40. The Dortmund-Eichlinghofen exit on the A45 leads to the South Campus, the Dortmund-Dorstfeld exit on the A40 leads to the North Campus. The university is signposted at both exits.

The "Dortmund Universität" S-Bahn station is located directly on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund main station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf main station via Bochum, Essen and Duisburg. In addition, the university can be reached by bus lines 445, 447 and 462. Timetable information can be found on the homepage of the Rhine-Ruhr transport association, and DSW21 also offer an interactive route network map.

One of the landmarks of the TU Dortmund is the H-Bahn. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Center via Campus South and Dortmund University S, while Line 2 commutes every 5 minutes between Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.

From Dortmund Airport, the AirportExpress takes just over 20 minutes to Dortmund Central Station and from there to the university by S-Bahn. A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university's train station.