Lecture series (1): The Ins and Outs of Regional Shrinkage

The world as a whole is experiencing fast population growth, so what is going on if some places are confronted with population decline at the same time?

Organisator Studium Generale

di 5 juni 2018 20:00 tot 22:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

Lecture series: ‘Shrinking Areas: Causes, Consequences & Coping'

Depopulation. The world as a whole is experiencing fast population growth, so what is going on if some places are confronted with population decline at the same time? What might first come to mind are images of deserted villages and abandoned countryside. But did you realise that in this era of large-scale urbanisation, shrinking cities are a reality as well? How can we understand rural and urban shrinkage, and what are its consequences? Are we simply talking about quantitative demographic decline or is more going on? Does it actually matter and, if so, why and for whom? Discover the mechanisms behind dynamics of shrinkage, explore its implications, and discuss perspectives on how to deal with it.

The Ins and Outs of Regional Shrinkage

You’ve probably come across depopulated or economically deteriorated areas. But did you ever give thought to the dynamics behind this? Shrinkage is a phenomenon of demographic and economic decline which can affect both rural and urban areas. While its causes may be large-scale and global, the way it manifests itself locally depends on the context. What is driving shrinkage and what does it mean for the society we live in? Tonight, researcher Marco Bontje discusses processes of shrinkage from an international perspective, comparing regions across Europe. What does it imply for regional economies, housing markets and the living environment? What does it tell about the future of the city and the countryside, and the relationship between them? And to what extent is it actually possible to manage shrinkage? Explore how shrinkage takes different shapes in different places, and what can be learned from experiences in other countries.

About Marco Bontje

Marco Bontje

Marco Bontje is assistant professor in urban geography at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam. Within the research institute AISSR he is member of the research group Urban Geographies. While his main research interest lies in urban geographic issues, his research has crossed disciplinary boundaries towards urban and regional planning, economic geography and environmental geography. Research topics so far have included the effectiveness of Dutch national urbanisation policy (PhD thesis); sustainable development of city-edge and (post-)suburban business locations; spatial, social and economic conditions for internationally competitive creative knowledge cities; and the impact of demographic and economic decline on cities and regions. All these topics have been studied in comparative projects including cases from several European countries.

A core research topic of Marco Bontje is shrinking cities and regions. He was involved in a study of the Parkstad Limburg region in the south of the Netherlands, was member of the Management Committee of the COST Action 'Cities Regrowing Smaller' (2009-2013), and is currently involved in two JPI Urban Europe projects connected to this topic: 'Bright Future for Black Towns' and '3S RECIPE - Smart Shrinkage Solutions'.