- Understanding spatial differentiation in urban decline levels
- European Planning Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The economic and demographic changes currently manifest in many Western cities—referred to as urban decline or urban shrinkage—are receiving increased attention in public and academic debates. Although the general processes driving these changes have been identified, such processes cannot explain why regions and cities which have been exposed to similar processes still differ in their economic and demographic developments. This Western European and US-based literature review attempts to answer the question of how this interregional and intraregional variation in levels of economic and demographic decline can be understood. It is argued that the degree to which wider societal forces (such as deindustrialization, changes in international and domestic migration and changing fertility levels) impact on a particular area depends on how these forces are filtered, first, through the institutional and, second, the spatial context that the region or city is located in. To understand the differences between the cities within one region (being part of the same institutional and spatial contexts), we need to descend to the city level and take account of the local (dis)amenities, comprising its physical, social and economic assets, and the influence of (the place characteristics of) other cities in the vicinity and the socio-political framework.
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