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Final Conference of the EU COST Action “Cities Regrowing Smaller” (CIRES)


12. and 13. September 2013

(14. September Internal
COST Closing Session)

Zeche Zollverein

EU COST-Action Cities Regrowing Smaller (CIRES)

TU Dortmund, School of Spatial Planning, Department of Spatial Planning and Planning Theory

Bertelsmann Stiftung

OECD LEED Program (Local Economic and Employment Development)


© Thomas Willemsen / Stiftung Zollverein

Programme, Speakers, Presentations


The conference ‚Cities Regrowing Smaller‘ is dealing 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. The conference thus 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. 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 last for 2 days with several plenary sessions and discussions, organized by the different partners. At the same time, it marks the conclusion of the 4 year EU COST Action ‘Cities Regrowing Smaller’ (CIRES). The conference will be organized and financed by CIRES with contributions from the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Program (LEED) and the Bertelsmann Foundation. Location of the conference is the Zeche Zollverein in Essen (Germany), an old coal mine that has undergone a regeneration process and is well known across Germany and Europe as a landmark for structural change in a shrinking environment.

© Thomas Willemsen / Stiftung Zollverein