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Sustainability for Shrinking Cities
Herrmann, D., W. Shuster, A. Mayer, AND A. Garmestani. Sustainability for Shrinking Cities. Sustainability. MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland, 8(9):911 (9 p.), (2016).
Humans are rapidly becoming an urban species, with greater populations in urban areas, increasing size of these urban areas, and increasing number of very large urban areas. As a consequence, much of what we know about cities is focused on how they grow and take shape, the strains that their growth puts on city infrastructure, the consequences for human and nonhuman inhabitants of these cities and their surroundings, and the policies which can either exacerbate or ease these growing pains. Indeed, political and economic incentives provide powerful incentives for continuous growth. However, concurrent with this urbanization trend has been an increase in declining and abandoned urban areas due to loss of jobs and the economic base, environmental and infrastructure degradation, and a further corrosion of linked social conditions.
Shrinking cities are widespread throughout the world despite the rapidly increasing global urban population. These cities are attempting to transition to sustainable trajectories to improve the health and well-being of urban residents, to build their capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to cope with major events. The dynamics of shrinking cities are different than the dynamics of growing cities, and therefore intentional research and planning around creating sustainable cities is needed for shrinking cities. We propose research that can be applied to shrinking cities by identifying parallel challenges in growing cities and translating urban research and planning that is specific to each city’s dynamics. In addition, we offer applications of panarchy concepts to this problem. The contributions to this Special Issue take on this forward-looking planning task through drawing lessons for urban sustainability from shrinking cities, or translating general lessons from urban research to the context of shrinking cities.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS BRANCH