DOI: 10.19830/j.upi.2020.050
The Governance of Urban Shrinkage: Theoretical Models, International Comparisons and Key Policy Issues

Zhou Kai, Liu Liluan, Dai Yangui

Keywords: Urban Governance; Shrinking City; Smart Shrinkage; Urban Policy; Urban and Rural Planning


How to secure a smooth transition of city in the time of depopulation has become one of the key issues in urban governance researches. The growth and shrinkage of urban population are “the two sides of the same coin” if looking at the global urbanization process through wider geographic scope or by longer historical time span. Recognizing the importance of governance in shrinking cities, this paper firstly introduces three theoretical models that were frequently cited in the literatures: the life-cycle model, the heuristic model, and the political-economy model. Each model provides a unique perspective on understanding, interpreting, and conceptualizing the governance of urban shrinkage. Secondly, it reviews literatures on a wide range of case studies and produces international comparisons among the modes of governance of shrinking cities in the USA, Germany, France, Japan and several countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Last but not least, this paper suggests three policy responses for the governance of Chinese shrinking cities: welfare governance, urban form, and residential attractiveness, which are key policy issues and need to be also shared with most shrinking cities around the world.


Brief Info of Author(s):

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