Shrinking Cities or Urban Transformation

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling

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Shrinking Cities or Urban Transformation is a PhD-thesis conducted at the Department of Architecture and Design, Aalborg University in the period 2004-2008.

The PhD concerns the spatial changes that emerge in contemporary urbanity. Contemporary urbanity can among others be characterized as both growing and declining. On the one hand, a concentration of the urban into a highly urbanized nodal point is happening and on the other a deconcentration of the urban fabric in declining territories is taking place.

The starting point for the dissertation is the term shrinking cities, which has been introduced to describe the declining territories. This term is investigated resulting in a questioning of the term. This questioning of the term brings about a further theoretical investigation of growth and decline and the underlying trends. Following the theoretical investigations an empirical investigation of the cases Baltimore and Denmark is conducted. This shall shed light upon whether the theoretical assumptions correspond to what is happening in the real world.

The introduction of the term urban transformation is the result of these investigations and a response to shrinking cities. Urban transformation is a holistic and relational conception embracing both growth and decline. Thus, the urban landscape can be described as a conglomerate containing built-up and open spaces as well as urban growth and urban decline.

Following the theoretical and empirical analysis the thesis enters into a focus of how to handle negative urban development.  This concerns the investigation of design interventions conducted in the two cases Denmark and Baltimore. These investigations are then transformed into a guiding model for how to handle shrinking cities. This frame consists of five overall themes: multifunctional landscapes, soft tools, pragmatic solutions, strategic solutions and, arhcitecture and design and approaching the field of negative urban development by encompassing the following issues: working overall strategically and locally with the place-based potentials; to combine the local space pioneers with overall policies, to combine political will with the use of place-based potentials, to work in between  phasing out and development, to create distinction and add new energy.

ForlagInstitut for Arkitektur og Medieteknologi
Antal sider306
StatusUdgivet - 2009


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