Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Conference: Shrinking cities in Europe (Essen, Germany)


Final conference

12-13 September 2013

The conference is organised by CIRES, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and
the OECD LEED Programme within its Demographic Change & Local Labour Markets projects


What / Who / Where / Contact



The conference marks the conclusion of the 4 year European COST Action TU 0803 ‘Cities Regrowing Smaller’ (CIRES) and will deal with one of the main challenges of contemporary urban development in many industrialized countries. At the beginning of the 21st century, the shrinking cities phenomenon is widespread in Europe and worldwide. In the affected areas, several causes for population loss can be traced, such as demographic change, outmigration, structural changes in the economy, and suburbanization. These phenomena lead to an urban decline of sometimes severe extent and cause massive problems to the cities.

To deal with the results of demographic, economic and physical contraction processes and to plan for the future of considerably smaller but nevertheless livable cities accordingly is one of the most challenging tasks in the near future. Since both, the extent of shrinkage as well as the local responses, can differ considerably from one city to another, case study reports will provide insights into different cities’ management of the situation.



The conference will bring together experts from different arenas to share their knowledge on the shrinking cities process and to discuss possible approaches to deal with shrinkage.

For admission and general information, please see the official website.



The workshop will take place at Zeche Zollverein, Erich Brost-Pavillon, Gelsenkirchener Straße 181, 45309 Essen, Germany.

The Zeche Zollverein is a former coal mine that has undergone a regeneration process and is well known across Germany and Europe as a landmark for structural change in a transforming environment.



For further information about the conference, please contact Prof.-Dr. Thorsten Wiechmann, TU Dortmund, School of Spatial Planning or Dr. Cristina Martinez-Fernandez, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD LEED Programme.



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