Shrinking Cities



Links to organizations focusing on the shrinking cities topic—International and national level:

  • Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD): IURD “conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research and practical work that reveals the dynamics of communities, cities, and regions and informs public policy.”
  • Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN): SCiRN is a “worldwide research consortium of scholars and experts from various institutions pursuing research on shrinking cities in a global context.”  SCiRN advances understanding and promotes scholarship about urban population decrease and urban decline and effectiveness of policies and planning interventions.
    SCiRN has its blog at
  • Shrinking Cities Network (Germany): The Network is a collaboration between architects, academicians, and artists to examine the shrinking cities issue in various cities and to provide intervention strategies.  The website is in German; however, Google Translation Toolbar can translate the text into English.
  • National Vacant Properties Campaign (NVPC): NVPC provides information resource, tools, and technical support to government agencies, for profit and non-profit developers, community organizations, and others to help them revitalize vacant properties.
  • Rebuilding the Cities that Built America:  This website is dedicated to promoting and tracking the status of the CRSI Act of 2009.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): LISC helps transform distressed communities into healthier ones.  LISC leverages resources to provide community development organizations with equity, policy support, and technical and management assistance.  There are 30 urban and rural offices nationwide.

Links to organizations focusing on the shrinking cities topic—City-wide and regional level:

  • Cleveland Urban Design Collaboration (CUDC): CUDC is a “community service organization with a professional staff of designers committed to improving the quality of urban places through technical design assistance, research and advocacy.”  Through its publication and advocacy, CUDC develops awareness of “excellence in urban design” by providing lectures, symposia, and charrettes on the design challenges facing the region.
      • NEO CANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing): NEO CANDO addresses the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and tries to understand how social and economic changes impact communities.  NEO CANDO provides property, social and economic data.
      • Genesee County Land Bank: . The Land Bank’s “objective is to restore the integrity of the community by removing dilapidated structures and redeveloping abandoned properties.”  The Land Bank acquires abandoned lands through the foreclosure process and determines the best for use for them.
      • Genesee Institute: . The Institute provides technical assistance to jurisdictions wishing to establish a land bank or reform property tax collection system and foreclosure processes.  The Institute also provides planning and research on issues relating to shrinking cities.
      • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS): . “The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society motivates people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.”  Specifically related to the shrinking cities topic is PHS’ use of innovative greening strategies, which have been emulated in several cities, to improve neglected urban properties.

Links to blogs that address shrinking cities and sustainability: