Town Planning Review

Is planning needed? Shrinking cities in the French urban system

Town Planning Review (2017), 88, (1), 131–145.

Abstract

Urban shrinkage is a major challenge in most Eastern European countries, but is not identified as a public policy issue in France where the growth paradigm is still dominant. Although French urban shrinkage displays a significantly different pattern compared to other parts of Europe, some common demographic and economic trends justify the study of this process in a country where urban shrinkage is still emergent. Against this background this paper investigates the role urban shrinkage has played in France since the 1970s in order to draw conclusions on the contemporary situation. Thus, the evolution of 354 French urban areas is measured by two concepts before the results are linked to political awareness and responses on a national level in France.

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Author details

Wolff, Manuel

Fol, Sylvie

Roth, Hélène

Cunningham-Sabot, Emmanuèle