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Urban Ecology of Shrinking Cities: An Unrecognized Opportunity?

Dagmar Haase

Keywords: URBAN SHRINKAGE; PERFORATION; DEMOLITION; GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE; BIODIVERSITY; URBAN WILDERNESS

Abstract

Whereas environmental and social impacts of urban sprawl are widely discussed among scholars from both the natural and social sciences, the spatial consequences of urban decline are nearly neglected when discussing the impacts of land transition. Within the last decade, "shrinkage" and "perforation" have arisen as new terms to explain the land use development of urban regions faced with demographic change, particularly decreasing fertility, aging, and out-migration. Although shrinkage is far from being a "desired" scenario for urban policy makers, this paper argues that a perforation of the built-up structure in dense cities might bring up many positive implications.

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