Cities and towns facing sustained population loss are being researched and discussed more than ever before. Once the focus of a relatively small group of architects and urban designers in Europe, these cities and towns are now being studied by scholars across the world. In a range of contexts - from a large, iconic city like Detroit, to a small village in Japan (described by Thomas Feldhoff in this issue), this phenomenon is being observed in unexpected places, and far more frequently than once imagined.
A wider population is engaging in this as well, as discussions of the future of these communities are slowly entering the public discourse through diverse channels. In some places, the population is being engaged directly through a planned process of community engagement. Other means have included exhibitions, news reports, magazine articles, blogs and most recently, a spate of documentary films on urban decline.
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in URBAN DESIGN International. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: doi:10.1057/udi.2012.36
Luescher, Andreas and Shetty, Sujata, "Introductory review to the Special Issue: Shrinking Cities and Towns: Challenge and Responses" (2013). Architecture and Environmental Design Faculty Publications. 3.
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