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Growing or Shrinking Cities: Does Size Really Matter?

Plenary / Panel
english language

What are the problems and challenges that growing and shrinking cities have to face? What are the reasons for growth or shrinkage? Which measures should be introduced in that regard?


Professor of Social Policy and Head, LSE Housing and Communities, London School of Economics and Political Science, London Abstract Key Note
Shrinking Cities – The Case of Manchester

Europe’s post-industrial cities, including Manchester, began their decline between 1955 and 1980. This followed deep and rapid growth over the previous 100 or more years, and came as a big shock to city leaders, used to dominating the world stage.
Decline in most cases was quickly followed by remarkable recovery, and very few major cities in Western Europe are still declining. Cities are just too important to national economies to be left to “shrink”. How do we explain this phenomenon of “Phoenix Cities”?
Taking the case of Manchester, and comparing it with Liverpool, Sheffield and Belfast, the session/paper/presentation will show:
- What led to such unforeseen losses of population and jobs?
- What steps were taken to bring about recovery, and which steps worked?
- What are the future prospects for large metropolitan cities like Manchester?
- How does its trajectory compare with smaller cities like Sheffield and Belfast?
This session will also explore why smaller ex-industrial towns are struggling more than core cities; and why Eastern Europe is particularly hard hit by the phenomenon of shrinkage.
The discussion of “shrinking” or “Phoenix” cities is set in the context of Europe-wide evidence, collected since 2005, showing how environmental limits, social and human capital, and existing physical infrastructure underpin the survival of cities in Europe.
Director, Architekturzentrum Wien - The Austrian Architecture Museum Chair

Professor Anne POWER

Professor of Social Policy and Head, LSE Housing and Communities, London School of Economics and Political Science, London

1970-1979 Community Organiser, Inner London, UK
1983-1993 National Government Advisor, Priority Estates, UK
 Since 1996 Professor of Social Policy and Head of LSE Housing and Communities, LSE, London
 Since 1997 Government advisor on sustainable development, low income communities, inner cities, race relations etc.
 Since 2006 Senior Fellow of Brookings Institution, Washington DC, US
1998-2008 Deputy Director, CASE, LSE, London

Mag. phil. Angelika FITZ

Director, Architekturzentrum Wien - The Austrian Architecture Museum

 As curator she has realised, inter alia, projects on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, for European Capital of Culture Linz 2009, Architecture Center Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien, Secession and the European Union-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme
1998-2005 Several cultural projects in Southeast Asia
2003, 2005 Commissioner of the Austrian Contributions to the Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo
2012-2016 Projects "We-Traders. Swapping Crisis for City"; "Actopolis. The Art of Action"; "Weltstadt. Who creates the city?"
since 2017 Director, Vienna Centre of Architecture - The Austrian Architecture Museum

Built Environment Symposium

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